The Pittsburgh Steelers were without Le’Veon Bell for their season-opening tie against the Cleveland Browns. And it seems like they’re preparing to be without their star running back for a lot longer.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Steelers are working under the assumption that Bell will miss the next 4-6 weeks.

Steelers brass is moving forward as if running back Le'Veon Bell will not available for at least the first four-to-six weeks of the season, according to league sources, and have been given no indication the Pro Bowl running back will be reporting anytime soon.

Bell, who failed to come to terms on a long-term deal with the Steelers, has decided to continue to sit out in an effort to preserve his legs for his impending free agency next year. That decision has not gone over too well with his teammates, who called him out last week.

While the Steelers failed to win their Week 1 assignment against the Browns, it was not because Bell’s replacement was unable to step up. James Connor turned in a Bell-like performance with 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go with 57 receiving yards on five catches. And while he had a costly late fumble, Ben Roethlisberger was more to blame for their defeat as he committed five more turnovers.

Still, being without Bell for close to half the season would be a huge blow for the Steelers. And unless Bell has a sudden change of heart, that’s just the unfortunate reality they have to deal with, so they have no choice but to plan accordingly.