Steelers continue to roll
The Steelers aren’t playing like a team missing Le’Veon Bell.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns, James Conner ran for 65 yards and a score before leaving late with a possible concussion and the Steelers pounded the Panthers 52-21 on Thursday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
Antonio Brown added eight receptions for 96 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
While Bell — a three-time Pro Bowl running back who still hasn’t signed his one-year franchise tender — tweeted his thoughts as he watched on television, the Steelers (6-2-1) rolled on without him. Bell has until Tuesday to sign a contract if he wants to play this season. President Art Rooney II said Bell is expected to report to the team next week.
Cam Newton was 23-for-29 for 193 yards and had a pair of flips to Christian McCaffrey that the second-year running back turned into scores, but Newton’s showdown with Roethlisberger never materialized. The Steelers sacked Newton five times and rarely let him get comfortable.
This and that
Injured Jets quarterback Sam Darnold won’t start against the Bills, but the struggling rookie will return to the starting lineup as soon as his strained right foot is healed, coach Todd Bowles said. Bowles said he will return to Darnold even if veteran Josh McCown, who will start Sunday, is playing well.
Wally Triplett, the trailblazing running back who was one of the first African-Americans drafted by an NFL team, died at 92. Triplett played in 24 games for the Lions and Chicago Cardinals. He was also the first African-American to start for Penn State.