Le'Veon Bell out with injured knee

— -- PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Steelers running back  Le'Veon Bell left Sunday night's game with a knee injury after absorbing a nasty hit from Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson and did not return.

Reporting from the sideline on NBC's TV broadcast, Michele Tafoya said Bell was diagnosed with a hyperextended knee.

Bell clutched his right knee after Nelson hit the second-year man with a direct shot following a 19-yard reception in the third quarter.

Bell stayed down as a hush fell over Heinz Field before getting up and jogging off the field. Steelers doctors examined Bell, who was voted Pittsburgh's MVP last week, on the sidelines before taking him to the locker room for more observation.

Bell has been announced as doubtful to return to the game in which the AFC North title is on the line.

The loss of the 2013 second-round draft pick for the playoffs would deal a devastating blow to the Steelers' Super Bowl aspirations.

Bell is arguably the best all-around back in the NFL, and the Steelers have no proven depth behind the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder.

Bell entered the final week of the regular season as the AFC's leading rusher (1,341 yards) and second only to the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarco Murray in yards from scrimmage (1,341).

Bell's emergence led the Steelers to waive LeGarrette Blount last month after the latter left the field before the Steelers' 27-24 win at Tennessee on Nov. 17.

Dri Archer and Josh Harris are the only other running backs on the Steelers' 53-man roster, and each is a rookie. The two had combined for 50 rushing yards going into the regular-season finale.

Bell rushed for 20 yards on eight carries against the Bengals and caught six passes for 80 yards before leaving the game.