Replacing Bell tough, but they are up for it

Replacing Le'Veon Bell, a Pro Bowl running back and Steelers MVP this year, won't be an easy task, but the Steelers have three running backs ready to take on the challenge.

Bell was officially ruled out for Saturday's AFC Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens with a hyperextended knee, which means rookies Josh Harris and Dri Archer, and recently signed Ben Tate, will be asked to carry the load.

Harris, who came in for Bell after he was injured against the Bengals, said he hasn't been told yet if he will start but he is ready to answer the call.

"It was a pretty good week," said Harris of how practice went. "I felt pretty good with all of the things they had asked of me. Hopefully that can show up tomorrow night.

"I feel like we all have made sure we did the things we needed to do all week so we can help out our team. As soon as they ask me to play, I am going to do all I can to make sure I can do it all."

Harris said that getting more reps this week has been the biggest asset, as he was already comfortable with the playbook having been with the team since early in training camp.

"It's more about trying to get more reps," said Harris. "It's not that they are trying to put a lot on me. It's just that I am getting a lot more reps now.

"It's exciting, but you hate to see someone hurt. At the end of the day I am going to try and help out and do everything I can."

Harris has seen limited game action, with only nine carries for 16 yards, but his teammates have seen what he is capable of in practice.

"We expect him to do what he has been doing all year, what we have seen on the practice field, and in the limited game action he has got," said tight end Heath Miller. "That is be a hard runner, find the holes and he has the speed to break it open. We just expect him to be himself."

Both Harris and Archer said that Bell has helped them all week in practice, and that all three backs want to do their part tomorrow night.

"It's a big opportunity for all three of us," said Archer. "We are more than happy to step in. We have one more day to prepare and be ready for the game."

Tate, who has rushed for 2,368 career yards and 14 touchdowns, is doing some quick work to get up to speed with the Steelers offense, including spending a lot of time studying the playbook so that he is prepared for whatever is asked of him.

"I've been in it a lot, but you want to have a good balance," said Tate on Thursday. "You don't want to do too much and things start to run together. While I am here throughout the day I am always in it. You have to take a break here and there. I took a break when I got back to my room yesterday and then I was back in it before I went to bed.

"I just want to show that I am here and willing to do whatever it takes to help this team advance, to get to the goal. I am willing, ready. I want to show why I have been successful in this league running the ball. I want to put my best foot forward."

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