Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'Veon Bell misses first National Football League regular season practice

Steelers officially throwing all the pressure on Le’Veon Bell

Modal Trigger Le'Veon Bell Getty Images

"We are disappointed Le'Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates", GM Kevin Colbert said in a statement Monday. He's taken the first-team reps since training camp opened in late July.

Although the team expected Bell to skip training camp after he didn't get the long-term contract he wanted in July, the Steelers were blindsided when Bell made a decision to skip the team's first practice of Week 1 on Monday. "I trust James", he said.

"Right now we are singularly focused on the guys that have been here and working and we're building a plan around the variables that we know". "We spent a lot of time talking about the growth and development of James Conner, and appropriately so".

Tomlin also said he is more comfortable about his running back depth than at this point previous year. The 25-year-old had four solid years with the Buffalo Bills and never has missed a game since being drafted in 2014.

"The status and condition and the approach of James", Tomlin said.

Conner tweaked his hamstring on the first day of rookie minicamp shortly after being selected and only showed flashes of the player who ran for 3,733 yards and found the end zone 56 times for the Panthers.

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Veteran Stevan Ridley and rookie fifth-rounder Jaylen Samuels are the other running backs on the 53-man roster.

Landry Jones is gone from Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger's going to miss his longtime backup.

However, if you look at this matter from Bell's perspective, it's hard to blame him.

One year ago, Bell started the opener against the Browns, and he played 43 of the Steelers' 60 offensive snaps.

Dobbs entered the preseason fighting for the third spot at quarterback and sealed his job with a strong performance in the preseason finale against Carolina. "It was about what Josh did", Tomlin said. Crabtree hauled in a 29-yard pass from Flacco in the Ravens' preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on August 20 - good for Flacco's longest play of the night.

"I don't think many people have talked to him, coaches, players have reached out", Roethlisberger said. I'll know more (about McDonald) once he participates in practice (Wednesday).

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