Unable to lock up Le’Veon Bell to a new contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers are making sure they at least lock up his belongings. Even if it is a day too late.
FILE PHOTO: Dec 10, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) rushes for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
A day after video surfaced showing Steelers players purportedly raiding their former teammate’s locker, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday that most of Bell’s items were actually “packed up and placed in the back of team headquarters, with former teammates scoring a few pairs of cleats and not much more during Wednesday’s raid.”
Bell did not sign his $14.5 million tender before Tuesday’s deadline and will sit out the remainder of the season. On Wednesday, teammates reportedly removed Bell’s nameplate from his locker and treated themselves to numerous items in his locker, including cleats, CDs, shirts and a suit.
But center and team captain Maurkice Pouncey told Fowler that Bell’s items will likely be shipped directly to Bell, which is customary when a player is no longer with a team.
—Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins returned to practice and there’s a “pretty good chance” he will play against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, coach Andy Reid said.
Watkins, who played with the Rams last season, missed last Sunday’s win against the Arizona Cardinals with a foot injury.
Watkins has 39 receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns this season, including 100-yard games against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 and the Denver Broncos in Week 8.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens (ribs) also returned to practice. Center Mitch Morse (concussion) did not participate.
—Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Tim Green, later a broadcaster for Fox Sports, was diagnosed with ALS.
“While the football field is far away, I find myself in a formidable struggle,” Green wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. “For the past five years I’ve been coping with some neurological problems in my hands. At first the doctors thought the damage I’d done to my elbows in football was the culprit, so they operated to release the nerves, but the issue persisted and my voice began to weaken as well. That’s the only reason I’ve had to stop visiting schools to talk with kids. Finally, I was diagnosed with ALS.”
Green started 71 games in the NFL and retired in 1993. He worked for Fox and on Good Morning America, penned a book, “The Dark Side of the Game: My Life in the NFL,” and earned his law degree. Green was a two-time All-American at Syracuse and the 17th overall draft pick in 1986.
—The Indianapolis Colts signed former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins to their practice squad.
Collins, 25, has served multiple league suspensions since the Falcons drafted him in the second round out of LSU in 2015. Atlanta released him last November and he was suspended for the first 10 games in 2018. Collins has played in 24 games (eight starts) and registered 43 tackles and two interceptions.
In a corresponding move, the Colts released quarterback Phillip Walker from the practice squad.
—Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick, diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome before the start of the season, said he has regained feeling in his hands for the first time in months.
“It’s starting to come back in my hands a little bit here, which is good,” the four-time Pro Bowl player told the Dallas Morning News. “Now it’s more just numbness, no tingling, and it’s more in the tips.”
Frederick, 27, said he still has no sensation in his feet, but he remains optimistic about a full recovery. He has been with the Cowboys since they drafted him in the first round out of Wisconsin in 2013. He started all 80 regular season games and three playoff games in his first five seasons.
—Field Level Media