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Steelers RB Bell possibly could play in playoff game against Ravens

| Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, 5:42 p.m.
The Bengals' Reggie Nelson delivers a hit to the knee of Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during the third quarter Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, at Heinz Field.
Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media
The Bengals' Reggie Nelson delivers a hit to the knee of Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during the third quarter Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, at Heinz Field.

Le'Veon Bell slowly hobbled to and from the Steelers' locker room on Monday, a little more than 12 hours after hyperextending his right knee in the third quarter of the Steelers' 27-17 AFC North-clinching win over Cincinnati.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Bell suffered no structural damage to the knee from the hit from Bengals safety Reggie Nelson, meaning there is a possibility that the Steelers' team MVP could be ready to play in Saturday night's wild-card game against Baltimore.

“If he suffered no structural damage (ACL, PCL), then yes, he can play,” said Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, S.C. “He would just have to work through discomfort, stiffness and weakness.”

Geier said pain killers toradol and cortisone are popular treatments to allow players to get back on the field quickly after suffering injuries similar to Bell's.

The Steelers won't have an update on Bell's status until Tuesday, and Bell's agent, Adisi Bakari, didn't return a message.

Bell finished the regular season with 2,215 total yards — 1,361 rushing and 854 receiving — to finish behind only Dallas' DeMarco Murray for the NFL lead.

“He is our MVP,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “Hopefully, everything is all right. If he can't go, the next man has to step up and play just like him, or even better.”

If Bell can't play, the Steelers will go with rookie third-round pick Dri Archer and undrafted rookie free agent Josh Harris. The two have combined for 56 yards rushing this year.

Bell took to social media Monday to thank fans.

“I just wanna thank everybody for their concern and prayers! I really appreciate it,” Bell tweeted.

— Mark Kaboly

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