Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Thursday that rookie running back Le'Veon Bell has a mid-foot sprain in his right foot, but the injury is not as severe as initially feared and he is "optimistic and encouraged" how Bell's foot has responded.
Tomlin said Bell would not play in a preseason game Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field, but would not speculate on a possible return date. But he said Bell does not need surgery and that the injury is not a Lisfranc sprain similar to the one incurred tight end Matt Spaeth two weeks ago. Spaeth had surgery to repair the tear and will be out at least 8 to 10 weeks.
"We don't have a long-range schedule [for his return]. We'll treat it conservatively with rehab and declare him out this week. But in the big scheme of things, that is encouraging news."
More from the Post-Gazette: "Bell's injury is not as serious as the team initially feared, but he could be out up to six weeks because of a small ligament tear in his right foot."
It seems like the more that people comment on Bell's injury, the less we know. It was widely reported that Bell had sustained a Lisfranc injury, but now Tomlin is saying that it's not as severe as initially feared (yet he's unwilling to disclose any kind of timetable). We'll go with the six-week recovery for now, which would put Bell back Week 6 since the Steelers have a Week 5 bye. This means Bell could be a useful fantasy asset for the last 11 weeks of the season, though re-injury or a lingering injury are possible. We moved him to #38, assuming he misses the first quarter of the season and is used at approximately 80% capacity of a normal RB1 for the final 11 games.