Steelers’ holdout running back Le’Veon Bell plans to return during the team’s bye week, according to an ESPN report.
Bell, a former Michigan State standout, told ESPN he hopes Pittsburgh will re-sign him to a long-term contract once his franchise tag is up.
If Bell, a sixth-year pro, does report during Week 7, he’ll miss Steelers’ games against the Falcons (Sunday) and Bengals (Oct. 14), and be ready to return against the Browns on Oct. 28.
Bell, 26, has 5,336 career rushing yards, including 35 touchdowns, to go along with 2,660 career receiving yards on 312 catches and seven TDs in 62 games.
Coach Dirk Koetter confirmed quarterback Jameis Winston will start the Tampa Bay’s next game — at Atlanta — on Oct. 14. The Buccaneers have a bye this week.
Winston, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft, missed the first three games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first player in league history to throw for more than 400 yards in three consecutive games while leading the Bucs to a 2-2 start in Winston’s absence.
The “FitzMagic” show came to a screeching halt this past Sunday, when Tampa Bay fell behind Chicago by 35 points. Winston played the entire second half of the 48-10 loss.
“Fitz didn’t play as well as he had been playing, but it was a 100 percent team deal,” Koetter said, reiterating the Bucs were outplayed in every phase of the game.
Eric Reid isn’t planning on giving up his fight against racial injustice in America or his battle with the NFL.
He just doesn’t know if his protests against injustice will include kneeling for the national anthem. Reid, who signed a one-year contract last week with Carolina, said he is “still considering other ways” to protest and continue to raise awareness.
Reid, a former Pro Bowl safety, says he will not drop his grievance against the NFL that alleges teams colluded to keep him out of the league because he protested alongside Colin Kaepernick.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette re-injured his right hamstring in a 31-12 victory against the Jets on Sunday, and coach Doug Marrone has no timetable for his return. Marrone said, “if I knew exactly what the deal was and I could tell you, three, six, 10, IR, whatever, I would. I just don’t know.”
... Rams outside linebacker Dominique Easley underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee Monday. This is the fourth major knee surgery for Easley since 2011.