Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is unlikely to report to the team by Tuesday, which would make him ineligible to play the rest of the season, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Bell has until 4pm (et) on Tuesday to sign his his $14.5 million franchise tag, which would be prorated to $6 million, or he will miss the entire 2018 campaign.
Steelers president Art Rooney II told Sirius XM on Thursday that he expected Bell to return to the team before the deadline.
"I don't know what his plans are, but I would say that at this point we expect him to come back next week," Rooney said.
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on him for the second straight year last March and failed to reach a long-time deal by the summer time deadline. Whether or not he reports this season, the Steelers would need to use a $25 million franchise tag to keep him in 2019, which is not expected to happen.
He rushed for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns over 15 games in 2017 with the Steelers, his fifth year in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers selected the Michigan State product in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Bell is a three-time Pro Bowler.