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NFL notebook: Steelers’ Bell says knee should be OK

Associated Press

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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell said Friday the left knee injury he re-aggravated during practice a day earlier isn’t believed to be serious.

“It’s not too bad, nothing too major,” said Bell, who added there was no ligament tear. “I don’t know the length or period of time, but it’s not as bad as everybody thinks it is.”

The second-round pick from Michigan State proved it by dressing in full pads and practicing in a limited capacity, participating in non-contact work with the other running backs. He sat out all team drills.

“He’s got a clean bill of health, so it’s time to get back out here and start the process of readying himself for the game like all other healthy men,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

Bell’s status for the team’s second preseason game Monday night at Washington remains uncertain, but the rookie hopes to see action.

“I’m going to try my best,” Bell said. “I can’t make any promises, but we’re going to see.”

Bell pulled up following a running play during a non-contact team drill Thursday when a group of defensive players dropped the rookie to the ground. Bell fell to the grass and stayed on his back for several minutes while trainers examined his left knee.

“I just remember running the ball, I kind of started slowing down, and I got hit,” Bell said. “Guys are strong and big out here, so they kind of knocked me off balance and I fell awkwardly on my leg.”

Trainers helped Bell to his feet and he gingerly limped to the sideline, where he finished practice with an ice bag wrapped around his leg. After practice, he limped with little to no bend in his knee to a waiting golf cart and left the field.

Tomlin has conducted a physical training camp, arguably the most intense of his seven-year tenure in Pittsburgh, featuring at least one period of live tackling almost daily. Bell was injured in a non-contact drill, but the rookie isn’t blaming his teammates.

“I just kind of let off the gear a little too much,” Bell said.

Lions sign two tackles

The Detroit Lions have signed defensive tackles Justin Bannan and John Drew and released cornerback Conroy Black and defensive end Braylon Broughton.

The team announced the moves Friday. The Lions also released linebacker Carmen Messina from the reserve-injured list.

Bannan started 15 games for the Denver Broncos last season. The 34-year-old Bannan joins a Detroit defensive front that already includes tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

Drew is an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina Central.

Williams misses Bills win

Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams did not play in the Bills’ 20-16 preseason victory Friday over the Minnesota Vikings.

Williams complained of soreness after practice Wednesday and joined receivers TJ Graham (groin) and Stevie Johnson (left hamstring) on the sideline. Also not in uniform are corner backs Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers and Crezdon Butler, as well as defensive end Kourtnei Brown and offensive lineman Keith Williams.

Colts hope Allen will return

Colts tight end Dwayne Allen got rid of the walking boot on his injured right foot Friday — the final day of practice at Anderson University.

Allen hasn’t practiced since complaining of foot pain last Wednesday. Coach Chuck Pagano has said Allen is expected to miss a couple of weeks, but the Colts remain hopeful he will be healthy enough to return for the Sept. 8 season opener against Oakland.

Pagano said Allen would be using a combination of an orthopedic in his shoe a walking boot others as he recovers.

The Colts other prominent tight end, Coby Fleener, was scheduled to have another concussion test later Friday. If he passes, he would be cleared to play Sunday night.

Montana’s project on hold

Joe Montana’s plan to build a new hotel and restaurant next to the 49ers’ new Silicon Valley stadium is not advancing as quickly as expected.

The Hall of Fame quarterback had wanted the four-star hotel, upscale restaurant and sports bar to open in August 2014, when the 49ers move to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Montana now hopes the complex will be open in time for the 50th Super Bowl in February 2016.

The plan is being delayed because Montana and his business partners haven’t been able to reach a deal with Santa Clara officials on the value of city-owned land where the complex would be built. Another development project has also prompted new design work on the hotel.


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