Lisfranc Injury Avoided, But Le’Veon Bell Will Still Miss Significant Time

A Lisfranc injury would have been devastating to Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell, but though he avoided the complicated dislocation he will still miss significant time with a severe foot sprain.

When Bell went down an injury during the team’s 24-13 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday, it was feared that he suffered the same Lisfranc injury that sidelined teammate Matt Spaeth. That would have likely meant season-ending injury, but instead the electric running back will be out 6-8 weeks with a mid-foot sprain. He will also avoid surgery.

Bell actually tried to stay in the game after suffering the injury, carrying the ball another four times for nine yards.

A Lisfranc injury happens when one of the metatarsal bones that make up the foot becomes displaced from the tarsus. It occurs when there is an excessive force either directly or indirectly to the midfoot, and the rare type of injury usually happens in traffic and industrial accidents.

The injury is severe for football players, and for running back Le’Veon Bell would have been particularly devastating. Others who have suffered a Lisfranc injury — including wide receiver Santonio Holmes, running back Cedric Benson, and quarterback Matt Schaub — have missed significant time.

A second-round pick from Michigan State, Bell was being counted on to anchor the Steelers running game along with Isaac Redmond after the team let Rashard Mendenhall go in the offseason via free agency.

Steelers coach Mike Timlin said he had been impressed by Le’Veon Bell this preseason, adding that the rookie has shown good progress so far in his recovery.

There is still an outside chance that avoiding a Lisfranc injury could get Bell back to the field by the season opener. But if he’s still out, the Steelers will turn to Isaac Redmond and Jonathan Dwyer to pick up his carries.