"The Bus" is poised to make his final stop in football.
Jerome Bettis is one of 18 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- the latest class will be announced Saturday night -- and the former Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams running back's arrival in Canton, Ohio might be overdue.
Bettis remains the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history (13,662 yards) nearly a decade since his retirement -- which he announced right after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit -- and he is the only player among the NFL's top 10 all-time rushers who is eligible for the Hall of Fame and is not in it.
Bettis is a finalist for the Hall of Fame for the fifth consecutive year, and it's hard to see what his résumé is lacking.
His 50 100-yard rushing games for the Steelers are a franchise record and Bettis made six Pro Bowls in a career that spanned 1993-2005. Bettis has a Super Bowl ring, he has iconic moments -- none stand out more than his running over Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on a snowy day in 2005 -- and he has the numbers.
The one knock against Bettis may be that he averaged only 3.9 yards per carry. Bettis, however, was at his best when the Steelers got a lead in the fourth quarter of games and used him to grind out the clock.
Former New York Jets and Washington Redskins running back John Riggins also averaged 3.9 yards a carry during his career but Riggins, who was also a big back, has been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1992.