The Pittsburgh Steelers hasn’t had a great start to the season, going just 1-2-1 in their first four games. Things could very well have been different if star running back Le’Veon Bell wasn’t currently holding out in protest of having the franchise tag placed on him for the second straight year.
A recent report suggested that Bell would return to the team in Week 7 or 8 (the Steelers have a bye in Week 7), meaning Bell could play the final ten games of the regular season. It’s also a bit problematic, since multiple members of the Pittsburgh offensive line skewered Bell for not being a team player when his holdout extended into the regular season.
With a potential return just around the corner, though, those same teammates are changing their tunes.
“It’s music to my ears,” said Marcus Gilbert, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“It sounds good,” he added. “But I wish we could have him back today. Why’s he taking so long? … Why wouldn’t he come back here and be around the guys and see us in the eye? I don’t know. I know we’re all waiting on him.”
Maurkice Pouncey called the news “awesome.”
“We love Le’Veon,” Pouncey continued. “Sometimes, I think that gets misconstrued, how much we care about him. We all want the best for him. People take things the wrong way sometimes, and we’re totally fine with him.”
David DeCastro and Ramon Foster were arguably the two players most critical of Bell’s continued holdout, and they weren’t quite as warm with their response to the news that Bell might be returning withing a matter of weeks.
“If he’s not here, he’s not here. I’ll believe it when I see it,” said DeCastro.
“If he shows up, that’s awesome. If he comes later, that’s cool. Our job right now is to win these games that’s in front of us until he does,” Foster added.
The Steelers play the Falcons on Sunday in Week 5, with both teams desperate for a win to get their season back on track.