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Steelers

Bell was 'managing' groin injury before AFC title game

Chris Adamski
| Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, 6:48 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell watches from the sideline as he waits for the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell watches from the sideline as he waits for the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged Le'Veon Bell had a groin injury before Sunday's AFC championship game. Tomlin doesn't think that admission will get the Steelers in trouble with the league office.

Bell, the Steelers 2016 MVP, played 11 snaps in the loss at New England because of an injury to his left groin he said had been lingering for several weeks.

“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 just something to manage.”

Bell missed three of the Steelers' six full practices over the past two weeks, but the Wednesdays missed were labeled by the team as “not injury related” (This past Thursday, Bell was away from the team on a personal issue.)

Last week, ESPN reported the Seahawks could be docked a second-round pick because of their season-long failure to report a knee injury to Richard Sherman. Two days after the season ended, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the cornerback played with a “significant” MCL injury. A Sherman knee injury was not reported by the team, as is required by NFL rules.

Tomlin said Tuesday it was “my understanding” Bell's injury did not need to be listed by the Steelers.

“Just about everybody in that locker room has things they're managing in an effort to stay on the field,” Tomlin said. “To my estimation, he was managing it extremely well. It didn't cause him to miss any practice reps, so I didn't list it.”

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