Steelers tailback Le’Veon Bell finally settled the marijuana possession and driving under the influence charges against him last week, with 15 months probation the legal outcome.
Now, the focus turns to how the NFL handles the matter.
ESPN’s John Clayton reported Wednesday that Bell is “expected” to be banned for the first two regular-season games of 2015.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise. As PFT has noted multiple times dating back to before the Super Bowl, Bell’s inability to resolve the cases against him by November 1 left him in line for a two-game suspension under the league’s strengthened substance-abuse policy.
With a ban quite possible, the Steelers will need a contingency plan at the position, as G.M. Kevin Colbert noted Wednesday. After the release of LeGarrette Blount late last season, the Steelers were caught short at tailback, and when Bell was injured in the season finale and could not play in the wild-card round, the team was left scrambling at this key position.
But in this case, the Steelers will have had ample warning if Bell isn’t available.