Why Le'Veon Bell Has to Step Up After Ben Roethlisberger's Injury

By Derek Ferreira
Oct. 17, 2016

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger's latest injury could be a disaster to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first six weeks, he was in discussions to win the MVP award. Also, the Steelers were Super Bowl contenders and had a big challenge to prove that right in facing the New England Patriots on Sunday. But, the Steelers have a new man under center in Landry Jones. The Steelers were 1-1 with Jones under center last year, where he threw for three TDs and four picks.

The good news is that Jones may start two games. It's going to be a tough test, but can the Steelers survive his latest hiatus with as the QB. Well, one player needs to step up, and that is Le'Veon Bell.

If the Steelers do emerge in these next two games, it will be because of Bell. Bell has the chance to get the ball 30 times with Jones under center, and call me crazy, but that number is small. The Steelers are going to be committed to their running game and may use him in the passing game. Teams will pressure Jones. But, the Steelers have to be creative in how to get Bell situated. For example, in 2015 when the San Diego Chargers faced the Steelers. Michael Vick was the starter and threw for 72 yards with a TD.

But, Bell finished the day running for 111 yards and scored the winning TD, with the Steelers using the wildcat formation. The Steelers have a running back by committee in DeAngelo Williams, so it's likely that the wildcat will be in play against the Patriots. Aside from the wildcat, the Steelers will test the Patriots defense. Bell is not only a great runner, but he is the best receiving running back in the NFL. Before the Roethlisberger injury, Bell caught 20 of 24 passes for 177 yards. In his career, that's an average of 9 yards.

That takes the pressure off Antonio Brown. If the Steelers want to win these next few games without Roethlisberger, the guy that has to step up is Le'Veon Bell.