In Sunday’s game against the bengals, Le’veon Bell suffered a torn MCL which will end his 2015-2016 season. Bell was running down the sideline in the second quarter in Sunday’s game, when linebacker Vontaze Burfict hit Bell. Bell’s leg bent backward causing him to tear his MCL.
The good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers is that they have their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back from his sprained MCL, which caused him to miss four games. The bad news is the loss of their star running back Le’veon Bell. Le’veon Bell received a two game suspension at the beginning of the year due to marijuana use. Because of this, Bell only played in five games this season. In those five games, Bell rushed for 511 yards.
The Steelers have always been a competitive team in the NFL, but this year injuries seem to be effecting their performances. The Steelers losing to the Cincinnati Bengals put the Steelers to 4-4. This puts the Steelers out of the playoffs. The Steelers realize that without Le’veon Bell it will be tough to get their running game going. Offensive linemen Marcus Gilbert stated, “Injuries do happen, but we have to find a way to overcome them. It has to be the next-man-up mentality. In order for us to get where we want to go, we have to move past this and make plays. It’s a new challenge” (http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2015/11/02/Pittsburgh-Steelers-place-running-back-Le-Veon-Bell-on-injured-reserve-sign-Isaiah-Pead/stories/201511020144).
Deangelo Williams will be the replacement running back for the Steelers . Williams ran in the first two games of the season during Bell’s two game suspension. He did well running for 204 yards with three touchdowns. If he can continue to run as he did in the first two weeks of the season, the Steelers could be very fortunate and not even notice the loss of Le’veon Bell.
The Steeler don’t have just a running game, they always can throw the ball and make plays through the air if they need to. The Steelers have star receivers such as Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant, as well as tight end Heath Miller. With a star like Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback, and elite receivers, the Steelers have the potential to compete at a high level without Le’veon Bell. The Steelers play the Oakland Raiders next Sunday, which a win would put them over the .500 mark. The Steelers don’t necessarily have an easy remaining schedule playing elite teams like an undefeated Denver Bronco’s, a struggling Seattle Seahawks, a competitive Indianapolis Colts, and the Cincinnati Bengals, which the Steelers just lost to last Sunday.
The Steelers have eight games left this season, and have the talent to win out which would finalize them at 12-4. With a record like that, it could get them into the playoffs. If the Steelers bad luck continues however, things may not go as well as they would like and could split the second half of the season like they have the first half of the season. If they end up around the 8-8 mark, they will most likely miss the playoffs.
If the Steelers continue to play competitive football in the league by passing the ball as well as running the ball, they shouldn’t be to much different without star Le’veon Bell. The Steelers need to focus on a week to week basis, and work the offense against defenses their opponents would play.
Photo taken from examiner.com & taken by Jared Wickerham