Friday, September 27, 2013
Miller returns to practice; Bell set to go
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers will have to overcome a time change and maybe some lingering jet lag Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Fortunately for the Steelers, injuries won’t be an issue when they play the Minnesota Vikings in London.
Heath Miller returned to practice on Friday, and the veteran tight end as well as rookie running back Le'Veon Bell and starting cornerback Cortez Allen, are listed as probable for the 1 p.m. ET game against the Vikings.
Every Steelers player on the 53-man roster practiced on Friday. Miller (knee) had been limited in practice Thursday.
Bell will make his NFL debut, barring an 11th-hour setback, after returning from a mid-foot sprain he sustained on Aug. 19.
The Steelers will likely ease the second-round draft pick back into action with Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer also in the mix at running back. Bell practiced every day this week.
“He’s been getting a lot of reps in practice,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of Bell. “He’s looked really good.”
Roethlisberger said on his radio show earlier this week that he didn’t know what to expect from Bell because he hasn’t seen him practice on a consistent basis.
Some took the comments as Roethlisberger trying to motivate Bell, who has been hampered by knee and foot injuries, or his taking a shot at the former Michigan State star.
But Roethlisberger lavished praise on Bell during a news conference that took place Friday morning, shortly after the Steelers arrived in London.
“Coach (Mike Tomlin) is making him finish runs all the way down the field and then run the way back and then run the next play to kind of get a gauge of his conditioning,” Roethlisberger said. "Everything I’ve seen has looked really good in both the pass game and run game so I expect big things.”
Allen is expected to return after missing the last two games because of a sprained ankle.
He practiced every day this week and is listed as probable for Sunday.
Also listed as probable for the Vikings game are defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) and nose tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring).