By Kim Dunning
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell‘s season ended last year with a Week 8 right knee injury against the Cincinnati Bengals. Bell ended up tearing his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lesser known posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). After only 5 games last season, Bell ended his season with 556 yards with 3 touchdowns before ending the season on injured reserves.
Bell has been rehabbing his knee during the off season and has made a valliant effort to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers better than ever. Bell told ESPN in an interview that “he’s beyond all the phyiscal hurdles he’s faced, and right on track to report to training camp on July 28″. Bell seems ready to return to the NFL, but with that comes the question can he make a comeback to once again be a dominate running he has been in the past?
Depending on the extent of Bell’s knee injury, it is quite possible for Bell to return to his former self. The PCL is a ligament that is needed to stabilize the knee when doing such activities as climbing stairs or in a running backs case making cuts on the field to gain yardage. Cuts and routes are a very important aspect to a running backs job. With this type of injury Bell said he couldn’t walk up or down the stairs by himself, nor use the restroom by himself. It’s a devastating injury. Daunte Culpepper had a promising NFL career until he was hit by a Carolina defensemen and suffered a knee injury. Culpepper never fully made a complete recovery from his and thus his NFL career was lackluster to say the least.
On top of the injury itself, Bell is going to have to mentally prepare himself for the hits that he will take on the field. Sometimes the mental aspect can be the biggest problem in coming back from an injury. The mental aspect can either boost a player to above and beyond what he use to be or it can end his career. Since Bell is younger, it’s quite possible since he’s been through the rehabbing and feels like he’s ready to run routes, catch passes and cut on runs, he should be mentally prepared to face the opponents on the football field.
Since this is Le’Veon Bell’s last year on contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, you can expect Bell to have a better season than he had last year and with a better season under his belt and coming back from his injury, he has the potential to challenge Adrian Peterson as the highest paid running back in the NFL, if he can, as Bell says, come back stronger and better than he was before.