If you needed to see a game where the Pittsburgh Steelers proved they could survive without Le’Veon Bell, then look no further than their Thursday night primetime contest vs Carolina Panthers.
The Steelers destroyed the Panthers 52-21 at Heinz Field last night, with Ben Roethlisberger producing a phenomenal performance. He completed 22-of-25 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns.
Roethlisberger’s 158.3 passer rating means he joins Peyton Manning as one of only two quarterbacks to ever post a perfect passer rating in four separate games.
James Conner further demonstrated that the Steelers can do just fine with him at running back, as he rushed 13 times for 65 yards and a touchdown, his 10th rushing touchdown on the season.
Bell has never had 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. While he wasn’t playing for Pittsburgh last night either, he was paying close attention to the game, as he live-tweeted at several moments throughout the win.
Bell showed some love towards his fellow running back Conner, as well as Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught 3-of-5 targets for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Bell tweeted the following in reaction to JuJu’s 75-yard touchdown on the Steelers’ first play from scrimmage.
Once the Steelers took a 45-21 lead in the game, he tweeted the following.
Come to your own conclusion on what you think that tweet means.
The future of Bell at the Steelers is still up in the air, as many people noticed last night that he had removed all reference to the franchise from his Twitter bio.
Bell is yet to sign his franchise tag tender for Pittsburgh, and if he doesn’t sign it by next Tuesday, he will be ineligible to play this season.
Bell could be designated by Pittsburgh as a third-year franchise player in 2019 if he allows the deadline to pass without taking any action on the Steelers’ franchise tag offer. However, it would cost the Steelers quarterback money or roughly $25 million to keep Bell under those conditions.
With Conner playing well and the Steelers unlikely to pay that amount, Bell will probably be a free agent next year.
The Steelers now have a five-game winning streak and have moved to a 6-2-1 record on the season. They play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.