Steelers’ Mike Tomlin on Le’Veon Bell: ‘We need volunteers, not hostages’
BALTIMORE -- After downplaying or outright dismissing any talk of running back Le’Veon Bell and when he will return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Mike Tomlin couldn’t resist a jab Sunday morning.
In a pregame interview with ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Tomlin said the Steelers need “volunteers, not hostages” when asked about Bell’s holdout and potential return to the team.
In Bell’s absence, James Conner has rushed for 599 yards, which ranks third in the NFL.
Here is the answer Tomlin gave Russini when she asked if the Steelers need Bell back considering the way Conner has played through seven weeks:
“We hadn’t spent a lot of time focused on it because it’s not within our control. Those decisions of Le’veon’s, we need volunteers, not hostages. We’re focused on the guys that are here and working and James is definitely in that mix. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Bell has missed eight games. If he does not report by 4 p.m. Nov. 13, he will not be allowed to play this season, per NFL rules.