"I would say that at this point we expect him to come back next week."
The Pittsburgh Steelers have done just fine without Le'Veon Bell this season, including in last night's dominant 52-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers. With last night's win in the books, Pittsburgh has now rattled off five-straight en route to a 6-2-1 record.
Team President Art Rooney says he doesn't know for sure what Le'Veon's plans are, but he expects the Pro Bowl running back to rejoin the team next week ahead of their Week 11 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I don't know what his plans are, but I would say that at this point we expect him to come back next week," Rooney said, per ESPN. "We know he's back in Pittsburgh, so we're hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend. We're kind of expecting he'll be back next week."
It would certainly be in Bell's best interest to report before November 13. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bell must report to the team by Tuesday November 13 at 4 pm ET or he will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2018 season, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Counting the weeks missed so far this season, he has already lost out on $8.52 million worth of earnings.
James Conner, who has thrived as a starter in place of Bell, rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown on Thursday marking his 10th rushing TD of the season. However, he was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a concussion. The Steelers won't play against until November 18, which should give the second-year running back enough time to pass through the league's concussion protocol.