Le'Veon Bell expects to make his NFL debut during next Monday night's preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins, according to the Steelers' official site. Bell missed Saturday's preseason opener against the New York Giants due to soreness in his knee, but is expected to rejoin the team for afternoon practice this week Monday.
Bell was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and is expected to compete immediately for the Steelers' starting running back job. He is currently battling Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer for carries, both of whom struggled through ineffectiveness and injuries last season along with Rashard Mendenhall, now with the Arizona Cardinals.
Bell was a powerful presence at Michigan State before entering the NFL. During his final season, the 6'1, 244-pounder recorded 382 carries for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games played. It remains to be seen whether he can sustain the same workload against more punishing NFL defenses, though based on the performance of Redman and Dwyer last season, the Steelers may be willing to take their chances to produce an effective running game.