November 11, 2018 / 3:47 AM / 3 days ago

NFL notebook: Steelers' Bell unlikely to report by deadline

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is unlikely to report to the team before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, meaning he will likely miss the entire 2018 season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to the report, Bell’s camp has nothing to say and will not discuss with reporters the 26-year-old back’s plans for the coming week. Bell will not be eligible to play this season if he does not sign his franchise tag tender before Tuesday’s deadline.

Bell has been holding out after the Steelers failed to meet his contract demands, sacrificing more than $8 million in salary during the ongoing stalemate.

Reporting after the July 15 deadline to sign a long-term deal, but before Week 1, would have assured Bell the entirety of his $14.5 million franchise tender for 2018. He would forfeit the entire salary if he does not report before Tuesday.

—The New England Patriots have ruled out tight end Rob Gronkowski for Sunday night’s road game against the Tennessee Titans, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“TE Rob Gronkowski (back, ankle) won’t play Sunday vs #Titans, source said. The team is taking the smart, cautious approach by making sure he’s back after the bye at full strength to close the season strong,” he tweeted.

Gronkowski played at Buffalo in Week 8 and finished with three catches, but was held out of the Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears and last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. The Patriots are on a bye next week and will face the New York Jets in Week 12.

—An MRI exam has confirmed New Orleans Saints receiver Dez Bryant has a torn Achilles tendon, according to ESPN’s Schefter.

Bryant, who joined the Saints earlier this week, reportedly suffered the injury on the final play of practice on Friday. The recovery time is expected to be eight months.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection agreed to a one-year, $600,000 contract on Wednesday and was participating in his second practice when he was injured. With the injury to Bryant, 30, the Saints could take a second look at veteran Brandon Marshall, who also worked out for the team this week.

—Josh Allen has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, and the Buffalo Bills expect to start recently signed Matt Barkley at quarterback.

The team made the announcement, also stating that rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has cleared concussion protocol and will play. The Bills selected both Allen and Edmunds in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

At quarterback, Barkley was the choice of head coach Sean McDermott over turnover-prone Nathan Peterman. Barkley, 28, was signed on Oct. 31 and is being sent onto the field in the manner veteran Derek Anderson was 12 days after signing.

—The NFL is monitoring fire-related conditions in California to determine if air quality will require any change to Sunday’s football schedule.

The Los Angeles Chargers are playing in Oakland on Sunday, while the Seattle Seahawks will meet the Rams in Los Angeles. Both games are set to begin in the 4 p.m. ET block.

Three fires are raging across the state, one in Northern California and two in Southern California. Thousands of people have evacuated their homes and 11 people had been killed as of Saturday afternoon. It is still unknown how many homes have been destroyed.

—The Washington Redskins downgraded receiver Jamison Crowder to out because of an ankle injury in advance of Sunday’s road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It will be the fifth consecutive game that Crowder will miss. He was initially listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report before the team announced Saturday that he did not travel with the team and would miss the game.

Also missing the game will be standout left tackle Trent Williams (ankle) and running back Chris Thompson (rib). Both players are sitting out for the second straight game.

—Saints receiver Michael Thomas was fined $30,000 by the NFL for using a cellphone as a prop during a touchdown celebration last Sunday, multiple outlets reported.

Thomas’ actions occurred after he caught a 72-yard touchdown pass during a 45-35 victory over the previously unbeaten Rams.

Thomas had hidden a cellphone at the bottom of the goalpost and retrieved it after the touchdown. He grabbed the flip-phone and pretended to be having a conversation.

—The New York Giants cut offensive lineman Patrick Omameh.

Omameh, 28, was the starting right guard in Week 1. His release follows that of Ereck Flowers, who started at right tackle alongside Omameh to start the season.

General manager Dave Gettleman signed Omameh to a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason. He was supposed to join left tackle Nate Solder, another offseason signee, in bolstering the offensive line to protect quarterback Eli Manning, who has been sacked 31 times this season.

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