The Steelers were on their way to Cleveland on Saturday for their regular-season opener Sunday against the Browns, and Bell was not with the team, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Pittsburgh's James Conner is expected to start at running back Sunday.
Bell has not made a decision on when to show and is taking his situation day by day, with nothing definitive mapped out, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Bell's agent has suggested that the running back is willing to stay away from the team for a lengthy amount of time. Bell told ESPN in January that he wasn't accepting another 400 touches on a salary he felt was below his value, and his actions are backing that up. Bell most likely found motivation from megadeals signed by Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack -- all of which came after Bell's failed extension negotiations in mid-July.
Bell feels he is a top-10 player, a sentiment many top-100 rankings organized by media outlets have validated -- and now, he is literally giving up nearly a million a week to find out how much that status is worth.