PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has not yet arrived for practice, and teammates are not happy about it.
Bell didn’t show up for team meetings which were held at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“Now it’s bigger than business, it’s game day, and you’re still not here, it’s bigger than business,” center Maurkice Pouncey said following the Steelers afternoon practice. “At this point it looks like he’s not in the game plan.”
“If you don’t want to be here, it is what it is, hold out ten games, as a team we’re totally fine,” Pouncey said. “This is a team sport and we all know that. I really thought he was going to be here, obviously he proved a lot of us wrong.”
Pouncey wasn’t the only Steelers teammate who is upset that Le’Veon hasn’t shown up.
“What do you do? Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, I guess so we’ll treat it as such,” guard Ramon Foster said, according to a Bouchette tweet. “I just hate it came to this.”
Steelers teammates not happy with Le’Veon Bell no show, led by vet G Ramon Foster, their player rep:
“What do you do? here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, I guess so we’ll treatit as such. I just hate it came to this. “
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 5, 2018
Foster went on to say,” “He’s making 7 times what I make twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him,” Bouchette tweeted.
There had been speculation if Bell would report or not after he failed to do so Monday for the team’s first regular season practice.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also talked about Bell not being at training camp.
“Football is the ultimate team sport. One person doesn’t make or break you. I’d like to say the linemen are more important than any skill player, including myself, on this team. This offense is more than one guy,” Roethlisberger told reporters following the meeting.
Bell also skipped all of training camp.
As of Wednesday late afternoon, Bell had not signed his $14.5 million franchise tender and cannot play until he does.
He can still show up at any point and sign the tag, but he can also, by collective bargaining agreement, skip the first nine weeks of the season, show up for week 10 and still count that as a full year of service. He would, however, leave $8.5 million on the table.
Last year, when Bell also played on the franchise tag, he reported on Labor Day, practiced four times and then played in the season opener in Cleveland.
The Steelers open this season Sept. 9 in Cleveland.