Le’Veon Bell got the worst of Pittsburgh’s failed fourth-quarter comeback last Thursday.
While diving for the goal line late in the Steelers’ 22-20 loss to Baltimore, the rookie running back absorbed a massive hit from three Ravens defenders. The blow sent Bell’s helmet flying, and his exposed head bounced hard off the turf, appearing to knock him out cold for a moment.
Bell was assisted off the field and diagnosed with a concussion, and he told reporters Monday that he has no clear memory of the hit or the controversy that followed.
“I don’t remember the exact play. I didn’t remember it when it first happened,” he said, per the team’s official website. “Once I came off the field I didn’t really know I had scored. Then they told me I did; then they told me it wasn’t a touchdown. I wasn’t aware of what was going on at the time because I got hit. I can’t really remember what happened.”
Though the officials originally signaled that Bell had scored on the run, replays revealed that his helmet had come off before the ball had crossed the goal line, thus rendering the play dead. Ben Roethlisberger connected with Jerricho Cotchery on a touchdown pass two plays later, but the ensuing two-point conversion — which would have tied the game with just over a minute remaining — was unsuccessful.
Bell, who says his health has steadily improved each day since the hit, called himself fortunate that his injury was not more severe. He hopes to play this weekend against Miami but must pass a number of concussion tests before he can be medically cleared to do so.
“It was a bad hit, but I got lucky,” Bell said. “I am glad nothing seriously wrong happened. It was an ugly hit and I am lucky to be okay.”