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Pittsburgh Steelers: Le’Veon Bell Must Stay Healthy for Return of Physical Run Offense

It’s about time to get a bit worried if you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. We’re only a few weeks into training camp and Le’Veon Bell, the second-round running back who was supposed to put the smash-mouth back into the Steelers offense, has left practice again with a worrisome injury.

The Associated Press reports that Bell aggravated his left knee injury on Thursday and is unlikely to make his Steelers preseason debut against the Washington Redskins on Monday. According to head coach Mike Tomlin said, “He’ll be evaluated shortly and we’ll have more information regarding his status once we get that evaluation.”

Pittsburgh finished 18th in rushing in 2011 on the back of a near-1,000 yard campaign by Rashard Mendenhall — who was a much better running back than he’s been given credit for. Mendy only racked up 4.1 yards per carry on the year,  but that’s also what Arian Foster averaged in 2012 and he is universally beloved. With Mendenhall out injured last year, the several-headed monster headed by Jon Dwyer and Isaac Redman churned out a rushing yards total that ranked just 28th in the NFL.

There’s been much expectation that Dwyer could be cut by the end of training camp, but not if the injury bug keeps striking the backfield. Redman also left practice this week, with a shoulder injury.

“Just a little stinger,” Redman said, via The Associated Press. “Everything’s good, just a little precaution sitting me out for the rest of practice. … As soon as he regains strength, he’ll be back and participating.”

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google