RB Le'Veon Bell to 'ramp up activity'

PITTSBURGH – Heath Miller isn’t the only injured player the Steelers are hoping takes a significant step forward this week.

Le’Veon Bell will “ramp up his activity,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference, and the rookie running back will at least take part in individual drills this week in practice.

Bell has been out with a Lisfranc injury since the Steelers’ second preseason game on Aug. 19, and the team could increase his workload as the week progresses depending on how his foot responds.

Bell is unlikely to play Sunday night against the Chicago Bears, and the second-round draft pick may not return to action until the Steelers’ fifth game of the season, which comes after the team's bye week.

Tomlin said he is also “optimistic” that starting cornerback Cortez Allen will return after missing the Steelers’ 20-10 loss at Cincinnati on Monday night with a sprained ankle. Allen did not practice at all last week.

Cornerback Curtis Brown is expected to return after an illness kept him out of Monday night’s game.

Several players are nursing minor injuries, including rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (heel contusion) and nose tackle Steve McLendon (mild hamstring strain).

The Steelers are likely to limit both during the early part of the week, but each is expected to play against the Bears.

Miller is scheduled to practice fully this week, roughly nine months after the veteran tight end tore several ligaments in his right knee, including his ACL.

There is a chance that Miller, the Steelers’ 2012 MVP, could play Sunday night against the Bears.

“We are looking forward to watching him work,” Tomlin said, “and letting that work guide us in terms of how we proceed throughout the week.”