Le'Veon Bell has yet to report to the Steelers for the 2018 season, but the Browns aren't batting an eye.
Browns coach Hue Jackson said he expects to see the Pro Bowl, dual-threat running back on the field Sunday when the Steelers return to FirstEnergy Stadium.
"Has nothing to do with us. I plan on him being there," Jackson said after Monday's practice. "We are playing a really good Steelers offense – a really good Steelers team. He is one of those 'B' brothers. At the end of the day, I anticipate him being there."
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a statement Monday expressing disappointment with Bell, who has not been with the team throughout the entire offseason and is not a current member of its 53-man roster. Bell and the Steelers could not agree on a long-term contract during the offseason, and the three-time Pro Bowler has yet to sign his franchise tender.
After missing a similar amount of time last offseason, Bell returned in time to prepare for the Steelers' Week 1 matchup with the Browns. He ran for just 32 yards and caught three passes for 15 yards -- both totals coming in well below his season averages -- in a game the Steelers won, 21-18.
-- Jackson said he'll wait until later in the week to announce his plans for the makeup of Cleveland's starting offensive line. Joel Bitonio, who converted to left tackle early in training camp, could be back at left guard if the Browns opt to start undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison or veteran Greg Robinson at left tackle. If Bitonio remains at left tackle, second-round rookie Austin Corbett would get the call at left guard.
"I already know what it is. You just do not know what it is. That is all," Jackson said. "I have a pretty good idea of what it is going to be. I have to keep saying it, keep having the guys work every day together and go from there."
-- Wide receiver Josh Gordon led a group of players who had previously been sidelined by injuries at Monday's practice. Rookie linebacker Genard Avery, safety Damarious Randall and tight end Seth DeValve were also active for the first time since suffering their respective injuries.
Linebacker James Burgess (concussion) and defensive back E.J. Gaines (knee) remained on the sidelines.
"Everybody should be up and ready to go (Sunday)," Jackson said.
-- The Browns enter the 2018 season with a six-man wide receivers room that is half rookies. Fourth-round pick Antonio Callaway is slated to start the season opener while sixth-rounder Damion Ratley and undrafted free agent Derrick Willies are poised to have big roles on special teams. They join veterans Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon and Rashard Higgins.
"It is a young group, but they have talent," Jackson said. "They are not the guys that have to go out and play right now. We have been there before, where there are young guys that have had to go out and do it."
Willies, whose college career began at Iowa and ended at Texas Tech, came on strong near the end of the preseason to secure a roster spot.
"We think that he is very talented. Big guy that can run," Jackson said of Willies, who measures at 6-foot-4 and 207 pounds. "Has athletic ability. Has made some plays. He can do some things on special teams, so that makes a difference."