PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Roethlisberger Hints Le’Veon Bell Won’t Automatically Get Job Back Upon Return

Big Ben said backup running back James Conner should not go “on the shelf by any means.”

If Le’Veon Bell does actually return to the Pittsburgh Steelers during their bye week, there’s been an assumption the All-Pro runner would automatically take his place back atop the team’s running back depth chart.

While that likely is still the case, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did cast a little doubt on that assumption during an interview with 93.7 The Fan.

Coming off a 41-17 dismantling of the Atlanta Falcons that saw Bell’s backup James Conner rumble for 110 yards and two scores, Roethlisberger hinted Conner would not necessarily head to the bench upon Bell’s return.

“When Le’Veon comes back, in no way, shape or form should James just say, ‘OK, it’s all yours. I’m gonna sit back and when you need me, use me.’ And I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.”

Roethlisberger did call Bell “one of the best in the business” but added Conner should not go “on the shelf by any means.”

Conner has 84 carries for 342 yards and five touchdowns and 22 catches for 239 yards this season. Bell has yet to play in a game thanks to his holdout.

Read the full story at ProFootballTalk