Le'Veon Bell missed most of the Pittsburgh Steelers' loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game due to a groin injury. The running back told NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday he's still in the process of determining whether he'll need offseason surgery.
"I'm kind of in the process of seeing a couple of doctors, seeing if I have to get surgery or not," Bell said. "I'm hoping for the best, but I understand it's a tough game. If I don't get surgery, I go into the rehab process, work hard, get back to how I was last year, or actually, better. I'm going to take it from there."
Bell said he was dealing with the injury throughout the playoffs. Around The NFL's Conor Orr reported last week the NFL will look into whether the Steelers improperly withheld Bell's groin injury from injury reports.
"People don't understand I was kind of fighting that through the playoffs," he said. "I really hurt it in the Miami game. I played through the whole Kansas City game with it. The beginning of the Patriots game, I felt it."
Bell said he felt like he would hold his team back if he tried to fight through the injury versus the Patriots.
"There was a hole I had -- and that's when I knew I had to sit out -- because I had a hole but I couldn't really hit it," he said. "I just felt like I was holding my team back at that point. I was in a lot of pain, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish."
Bell believes if he'd been healthy versus New England the outcome could have been different.
"When we are at full-go I think we're a very tough team to beat. I don't think too many teams can beat us on our good days," he said. "Both times we played the Patriots we weren't at full strength. We didn't have Ben (Roethlisberger) the first time. Second game, I played, you know, six, seven plays...but (the Patriots) did it this year, you got to give credit to them."
Bell is set to become a free agent -- unless the Steelers utilize the franchise tag -- and could set the running-back market.
"Obviously, I want to play with the Steelers. I don't want to change teams and things like that," he said. "Hopefully we get all that settled, and hopefully they show some love because obviously I feel like I'm the best running back in the league."