Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell was upbeat on Thursday, encouraged by the news he received from doctors that the injury he suffered against the Washington Redskins was a mid-foot sprain that won't require surgery and was nothing more serious.
"I am definitely encouraged by everything," said Bell, who said a second medical opinion confirmed surgery wasn't necessary. "I am in good spirits. I can let my foot heal, keep doing therapy and get back as soon as possible. I am going to keep moving forward."
Bell was injured on the first series of the game, trying to push the pile on a second-and-nine carry that resulted in a one-yard gain. He said his foot dug into the ground and someone fell on the back of his leg. Bell remained in the game for one more play, but didn't return after the Steelers didn't convert on third down.
He hasn't been given a timetable for his return, but doesn't want to be sidelined for long.
"I am going to try my best to get back as soon as I can," said Bell. "I don't know when I will be back. I am going to try and get back as fast as I can.
"I am just taking it day-to-day. I am already healing. As long as the process keeps going the way it is, I should be back pretty quick."
Bell said he is now able walk on it without discomfort and put pressure on it, two things he finds encouraging.
"When I came off on the sideline and took off my shoe I couldn't put pressure on it," said Bell. "Now I can walk on it, move my toes. The swelling went down. Right now I am just walking around on it, picking up marbles with my toes, just little things. I am not doing anything too crazy on it, just letting it heal."
It's been a frustrating start for Bell who not only injured the foot, but also was bothered by a knee injury during training camp. He never missed time at Michigan State due to an injury, making this all the more challenging.
"It's frustrating a little bit, especially not being hurt before and now I get hurt twice," said Bell, who added that the knee is fine. "It gets a little frustrating at times. It's part of the game. Football is a contact sport. You are going to have injuries. It's something I am faced with, I am going to fight through it and get back on the field as soon as possible."
One thing Bell knows he has to be cautious of is not rushing back too fast and not allowing the competitiveness to overtake common sense when it comes to being fully healed.
"It's going to be tough," said Bell. "I feel like if my foot gets close to being able to play on it I am going to try to play on it. I know it's a long season. I want to come back to where I can play and not think about my foot. I want to make sure everything is comfortable and play how I want to play. I don't want to go out there and play injured and it gets worse. I want to make sure everything is good and move forward from there."