James Conner to get the start in Week 2 as Bell shows no sign of returning.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving onward without Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell, as he continues his holdout into Week 2. Bell still has not signed his $14.5 million franchise tag but can become a free agent in 2019 as long as he signs it by Week 11. Each week Bell skips, he forfeits $852,941.
Ahead of Pittsburgh's home-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, the team has removed Bell from their depth chart which makes sense considering he's not a member of the Steelers at this time, and won't be until he puts pen to paper on that contract. Bell, 26, was listed on the Steelers depth chart prior to Week 1 even though he has shown no signs that he'll be joining his teammates anytime soon.
In Bell's absence, second-year running back James Conner will once again get the lion's share of the carries on Sunday. In Pittsburgh's Week 1 tie against the Cleveland Browns, Conner racked up 135 yards and two rushing downs on 31 carries in addition to five catches for 57 yards. Conner's backups on the depth chart are rookie Jaylen Samuels and veteran Stevan Ridley.
Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, recently told NFL Live (H/T ESPN), "Le'Veon has several years left in football, we know his days in Pittsburgh are precarious at best, we also know how he's been utilized in the past by the Steelers organization." He added, "That's nothing to say negative about the Steelers. They had one of the best players to play the position and they used him heavily for the production he can provide, but in doing so you take away from his future years."