Le'Veon Bell still has had no contact with Steelers

DT Josh Tupou

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is expected to return to the team this week.

Bell has been holding out and has missed the first five games of the season after the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him for the second straight year.

Last season, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns.

If it weren't for a lone reporter sitting across the street outside UPMC Rooney Sports Complex monitoring the entrance to the facility, it would've been just like any other Steelers Monday over the past six weeks. They previously reported that Bell was rumored to return around the Steelers' bye in week 7.

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Despite that statement, as of Sunday, Bell had still not been in touch with team officials or players, sources told Schefter. That would put him out for almost half the season. According to ESPN's Field Yates, he is losing out on over $800,000.

Still, Bell has engaged in no known contact with the Steelers, meaning he could appear out of nowhere or decide to stay away. It is well-known the 26-year-old star wants a lucrative contract in free agency this off-season, and the Steelers seem unlikely to give it to him.

Pittsburgh will head into its bye week without Bell, a star player now not under contract after refusing to sign his $14.54 million franchise tender with the club.

The Steelers also could elect to trade Bell by the National Football League deadline, which is October 30.

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