Ben Roethlisberger recently told our buddy Mark Kaboly from the Athletic that James Conner "deserves playing time."
Conner has had a good preseason and was solid in training camp. He's done enough to get playing time until Bell is back up to speed. After that, give the All-Pro the ball.
Last year, Bell started slow to the tune of 3.5 yards per carry in his first three games. He averaged 17 carries and 60 yards per game. In the last 12 games, he average 22 for 92.5 on the ground. That's 4.3 yards per carry.
Give Conner a chance while Bell is slow out of the gate. After that, it's no contest. Give the All-Pro the ball.
There's a narrative that Bell has lost his explosiveness. That's wrong. Look at what he did against the Jags last year as exhibit A:
With all respect to James Conner, he CAN'T DO THAT.
The Steelers won't rescind the tag, and nor should they. After week three, you'll have all forgotten about your buddy, and you'll see why Bell will be the highest paid RB in the league by this time next year.