"If you look at their stats [since 2015], there are a lot of stats in different categories that the Steelers are actually better without him," Martindale said. "... So that might be why he's riding a jet ski down in Miami right now."
Martindale said the Steelers are back to making a commitment to the running game since the teams met on Sept. 30, with the Ravens winning 26-14. Conner had just 19 yards on nine carries in that AFC North clash.
Conner was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, piling up 367 rushing yards and six scores and 159 reeving yards on 77 touches. The Steelers also went 3-0 in October.
"He's the same running back the first time we played them," Martindale said. "He's a straight ahead no-fair dodging type running back that spins on contact and he's running hard. That's going to be a great challenge for us."
Bell didn't report to the Steelers on Tuesday after the 2018 NFL trade deadline. He has not played in any of the Steelers' games this season after holding out during the offseason. He has to report to the team by Nov. 13 if he wants to play this season. That is also the final day that he can report if he wants to be a free agent next offseason.
The Steelers are averaging eight more points per game and have a higher third-down percentage and red-zone percentage than they had through seven games last year with Bell at running back compared to Conner this season. Conner is also averaging more yards from scrimmage, yards per touch and has five more touchdowns than Bell had through the first seven games of 2017.
Martindale said he hopes Bell shows up right before the game. Conner is No. 3 in rushing yards, trailing only Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott entering Week 9. He has 922 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns this season for Pittsburgh.