Le’Veon Bell will play the Broncos for the first time on Sunday
By Matt Conner
Somehow Le’Veon Bell has never, ever played the Denver Broncos before.
Le’Veon Bell has played in the National Football League since the 2013 season, the same year he was the second round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since that time, he has played in 83 total games in his career between the regular season and the playoffs.
Never once has Bell ever suited up against the Denver Broncos.
It seems a bit silly that Bell could still have yet to make his debut against any team in the NFL at this point, but it seems outlandish that he’s never faced a team within the AFC just yet. The Steelers are in the AFC North and the Broncos are in the AFC West, so it makes sense that both teams would have come together at least once or more in the span of time that Bell was gainfully employed in the Steel City.
Even more, as two competitive franchises, it makes even more sense that those same teams would have come together in the postseason at some point. Before Denver’s recent woes with quarterback concerns after the retirement of Peyton Manning, they were the class of the entire conference alongside the New England Patriots. Certainly Ben Roethlisberger and company played them then, right?
Even after his years with Pittsburgh, when Bell switched addresses to MetLife Stadium to play with the New York Jets, it still makes sense to assume that the veteran running back would have had a chance to play against Denver at some point along the way. Alas, it’s never happened.
As it turns out, now that Bell is with the Kansas City Chiefs for just over a half season, he’s going to get the chance to play them twice over the next 10 games.
The Chiefs are scheduled to visit the Broncos on Sunday, and Bell will be making his debut for K.C. during the game. As it turns out he will also be playing in Denver and against the Broncos for the first time as well—making this a series of debuts all in the same game.
Back in 2015, the Steelers and the Broncos did meet. In fact, they played twice, once in the regular season and again in the playoffs. However, Bell tore his MCL on a hit from Vontaze Burfict that year and played only 6 games. Surgery would force him to miss the rest of the season (and thus the postseason) which means the only times he could have played them in his Steelers tenure, he was on the mend.
The New York Jets played the Broncos already in Week 4 of this very season, but Bell was also out for that game, too, after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1. Again, Denver was avoided.
So it seems that Sunday will present a series of new experiences for Bell. Perhaps he’s been to Mile High as an observer before, but he’ll suit up in a uniform and take the field as a player for the first time on Sunday when the Chiefs come for a visit. It’s an interesting anecdote for an already highly-anticipated debut.