Steelers notebook: Green out again; Mathews returns
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After setting Steelers records for single-game rushing yardage in three of the past five games he played, Le’Veon Bell was held to six carries for 20 yards before leaving the AFC championship game for good during the second quarter.
Bell, the Steelers MVP this season, initially left the game late in the first quarter because of an injury to his left groin. Initially, the Steelers said his return was “questionable.”
Bell, who plays nearly every snap when healthy, was not on the field when the Steelers began their third possession. They trailed 10-0 at the time. He entered the game on the next play and had a carry for no gain at the 2:36 mark of the first quarter before going back to the sidelines in favor of veteran backup DeAngelo Williams.
Williams had four carries for 25 yards and a touchdown on that possession, which spanned into the second quarter.
Bell returned for the first play of the next drive but then left again for the remainder of the first half.
The Steelers were unexpected early risers Sunday when an East Boston man pulled a fire alarm at the hotel they were staying in advance of the AFC championship game.
Team spokesman Burt Lauten confirmed the fire alarm was set off at the Logan Airport Hilton shortly after 3 a.m., about 16 hours prior to kickoff at Gillette Stadium.
According to Massachusetts State Police, troopers and firefighters determined it was a false alarm.
Police arrested Dennis Harrison, 25, and charged him with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false alarm.
Police said he was not a guest at the hotel and was found walking on hotel property.
Hall of Fame finalist and former Steelers guard Alan Faneca wasn’t surprised to hear of the incident.
“Never played a game in NE where that did not happen. Every single time,” Faneca wrote on his Twitter account.
A fire alarm also went off at Gillette Stadium about 10 a.m., causing fire officials to briefly evacuate the stadium.
Green out, Mathews back
Tight end Ladarius Green headed the list of seven players ruled inactive for the Steelers’ AFC championship game against the New England Patriots.
Green has missed five consecutive games while dealing with a concussion.
Defensive end Ricardo Mathews and running back/kick returner Fitzgerald Toussaint were active. Mathews was hobbled by an ankle injury, and Toussaint missed the divisional playoff game in Kansas City with a concussion.
Linebacker James Harrison, slowed by shoulder/tricep injury during the week, was active. Backup linebacker and special teams player Anthony Chickillo (ankle) also was active.
A surprise on the inactive list was rookie wide receiver Demarcus Ayers, who played in the previous two playoff games.