The Pittsburgh Steelers might be the next team to have a one-on-one with the NFL regarding injury reports. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the Steelers were aware of Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury ahead of the AFC title game against the Patriots.
Despite their knowledge of Bell’s injury, the team did not list it on the team’s injury report leading up to Sunday’s loss to New England. Bell was on the report – sitting out Wednesday and Thursday – but those absences were listed as “not injury related”.
“I was aware of it,” Tomlin said, via the team’s website. “It wasn’t significant to the point where it affected planning or the anticipation of planning in any way. It’s unfortunate that it became an issue in-game.”
Bell’s groin injury flared up during the game and he left after rushing for 20 yards on just five carries. Tomlin said Tuesday that Bell was “managing” the injury and added that the 24-year-old running back didn’t miss any time at practice.
“He was doing a great job of managing it,” Tomlin said. “It didn’t cause him to miss any practice time, let alone game time. It was something to manage. When you look at the journey that is the season, I think just about every guy down there is dealing with and managing something in an effort to stay on the grass.”
It’s unclear whether the league will discuss this with the Steelers. The NFL reportedly might dock the Seattle Seahawks a second-round pick after head coach Pete Carroll revealed that cornerback Richard Sherman was dealing with an MCL injury for a majority of the season but the team didn’t list him on the injury report.