Yes, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has vowed to not miss any games after reportedly missing several drug tests. No, no one beyond a very small circle should have even known about the potential suspension until the appeal process had concluded.
Regardless, the cat has escaped from the bag — and based on information PFT has gathered there’s a strong sense Bell won’t be escaping the suspension.
Even with neutral arbitration now available in suspensions arising under the substance-abuse policy and the PED policy, none in the know believe Bell has a strong chance to win the appeal.
It’s been suggested that Bell changed phones and didn’t receive notice of the tests. If that’s his defense, it’s hard to imagine it flying. For a guy in the program, surely an obligation exists to notify all appropriate persons of a change in cell service. Otherwise, a guy could avoid testing simply by buying a new phone.
Bell’s appeal possibly will be finalized before Week One. For now, the smartest move for the Steelers will be to assume that DeAngelo Williams will once again carry the load early in the season after Bell makes his exit following the fourth preseason game.