Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale does not sigh with relief that Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell has not yet reported to the Pittsburgh Steelers .
“There are many statistics [since 2015] that the Steelers are actually better without him,” Martindale said Thursday. “That could be the reason why he’s riding a jet-ski in Miami at the moment.”
James Conner , Bell’s replacement, has raced for 367 yards and six touchdowns in the last three weeks. He was named Offensive Player of the Month in the AFC. Maybe that’s why Martindale is not thinking too much about whether Bell will return this week to face the Ravens. “What if Terry Bradshaw wants to come back and Lynn Swann? Devils,” Martindale said.
In the Ravens’ previous game with the Steelers, Baltimore limited Pittsburgh to 19 yards rushing. That was the least amount of rushing yards for the Steelers at home since 1952, when they played at Forbes Field.
Since 2015, Bell has produced the most yards from the line of scrimmage (668) and total touchdowns (eight) against the Ravens than any other player.
So, do the Ravens really believe that Bell could be on the field on Sunday? “Right now, in this world, I would not be surprised at anything,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs . “You could report on Saturday, show up at the hotel and now we have a lot of different problems.”