Team president Art Rooney II said he doesn’t know when running back Le’Veon Bell will report to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he expects it to be sometime before the start of the season.
Rooney has not talked to Bell (Michigan State) since the start of training camp, but said others in the organization have, including coach Mike Tomlin.
“He has not given any indication to anybody that he plans to hold out into the season,” Rooney said Thursday before practice. “But I don’t think he’s given Mike (Tomlin) any day he’s planning to come, either.”
Rooney said Bell’s absence from training camp has not been a distraction to the team, nor did he seem overly concerned his star running back is not at Saint Vincent College.
But he would prefer if Bell were at camp with the rest of his teammates.
“To be honest, I would hope that it’s next week (he reports) to give himself two weeks to get acclimated,” Rooney said. “I don’t think it’s been a distraction to the team, so it’s really a matter of him getting here to get acclimated to being in pads, working with his teammates. There are advantages to be here practicing with your team.”
Meantime Rooney said he is optimistic the NFL will fully reinstate wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the start of the regular season and not delay the process like it did while Bryant waited to be cleared to participate in training camp.
“I hope and anticipate it will be resolved before the regular season starts,” Rooney said. “At this point I’m optimistic he’s doing everything he needs to do and is on track. We want to have him for the regular season day one.”
Colts center Ryan Kelly will have surgery on his injured foot and will be out indefinitely.
Kelly was injured during a joint practice with the Lions last week and did not play in Sunday’s preseason opener.
... 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster has a mild AC joint sprain in his surgically repaired right shoulder.
Josh Gordon’s return to the Browns from an NFL suspension remains uncertain.
“That’s not under active consideration, to my knowledge,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
... The Patriots say former nose tackle Lester Williams, who started in the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance during the 1985 season, died in Birmingham, Alabama. He was 58.
... The Seahawks and center Justin Britt are closing in on a contract extension that would keep the anchor of their offensive line in place beyond the 2017 season.