PITTSBURGH – Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell could make his long-awaited debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend when the team faces Minnesota in London.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday the team is "optimistic" Bell will be available. The second-round draft pick hasn't played since spraining his right foot in a preseason game against Washington on Aug. 19.
Bell has been cleared to participate in practice this week. The Steelers could use help in the running game to take pressure off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh ranks 31st in the NFL in yards rushing, averaging just 51.6 per game through the first three weeks of the season.
Despite the looming overseas trip, the Steelers are trying to keep to their regular routine. Pittsburgh will practice as usual on Wednesday and Thursday before heading to London.