Le'Veon Bell calls report that he'll rejoin Steelers on Labor Day 'fake news'

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/26671/" data-ylk="slk:Le’Veon Bell">Le’Veon Bell</a> decried a report from a reputable news source that he was planning to rejoin the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/pit" data-ylk="slk:Steelers">Steelers</a> next Monday as “fake news.” (AP)
Le’Veon Bell decried a report from a reputable news source that he was planning to rejoin the Steelers next Monday as “fake news.” (AP)

Le’Veon Bell told some Pittsburgh Steelers teammates that he intends to rejoin them on Labor Day, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The Steelers are going on the assumption Bell will be at practice Monday, a source said,” according to the Post Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.

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Bell has sat out training camp and the preseason after being placed on a $14.5 million franchise tag when long-term contract talks fell through. He has not signed that franchise tag, and it has been long assumed that he would in time for the regular season, like he did last year.

Bell calls report he’ll practice Monday ‘fake news’

Dulac’s report points to just that. But Bell was not having it and called out the familiar refrain of “fake news” on Twitter shortly after the Post-Gazette report was published.

Of course, “fake news” is the calling card of people who don’t like real news being reported about them, so this all must be taken with a grain of salt.

When Bell and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement ahead of the July deadline, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that he thought it was “possible” that Bell would be willing to sit out half the season.

Bell’s response to Tuesday’s Post-Gazette report appears to be an attempt to feed into the storyline that that scenario – or one that at least continues to see an extended holdout – is on the table.

Bell intimated in July he intends to play full season

But Bell’s own tweet after contract negotiations fell through indicates that he has no intention of sitting out regular season games.

Bell has put together a run of some of the best seasons the NFL has seen from a running back. Having “my best season to date” is an unlikely scenario if he misses a significant chunk of games.

Bell not the first Steeler to challenge local media

This is not the first time this preseason that a Steelers star has had conflict with the Post-Gazette. Antonio Brown tweeted that Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette was “making s— up” when he tweeted that he saw Brown limping at practice. Brown also called Bouchette a clown.

Bouchette tweeted after the report that he saw Brown limping that he confirmed with coach Mike Tomlin that Brown had not suffered an injury aggravation.

Like Dulac, Bouchette is an established journalist writing for a reputable news organization.

“Fake news” has proven to be an effective tool in attempt to discredit real news. Whether Bell is choosing to wield that cudgel upset that he lost control of his personal narrative or actually does not plan to report for the regular season, we’ll find out next week.

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