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June 10, 2023

The Steve Jones Show:

Bell Suspension Reduced

By Will Brinson/ – Le’Veon Bell promised he wouldn’t miss four games because of a suspension for a missed drug test and he was right, sort of. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back will have his suspension reduced by one game.

Bell was initially slated to miss the Steelers’ first four games of the year, but it will be moved to three games after the NFL and NFLPA reached a settlement on Bell’s case. The Steelers confirmed the suspension and GM Kevin Colbert said in a statement “we will continue to support Le’Veon, but we acknowledge this mistake has put the team in an unfortunate position.”

Initial reports of Bell’s four-game suspension emerged in late July, with it reportedly occuring as a result of a missed drug test.

Bell took to Instagram to let a random commenter know he would be back sooner than the four games. Maybe he thought a changed cell phone number would get him out of the entire suspension. ┬áTurns out that’s not really the case. Although Bell should be happy he had his suspension reduced one game, because it’s better than nothing.

Three games is still a pretty huge blow for the Steelers and Bell. It’s still almost a quarter of the season, though. On the bright side, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Bell is going to remain in his current stage of the substance abuse program. ┬áThat’s huge because of what it could mean for him moving forward — Bell was suspended to start the season in 2015 as well for a substance-abuse violation. Now if he’s busted again, he’ll get a four-game suspension, instead of a Stage 3 suspension of 10 games.

There’s nothing good about Bell being forced to miss three weeks of the regular season. But if you want a silver lining, how about the fact he’s recovering from a torn ACL? Bell will be forced to spend longer off the field, which means working out and rehabbing and getting completely healthy before returning. Obviously he and the Steelers would rather have him out there catching passes and breaking ankles while helping them put up huge numbers on offense. But if someone has to miss time at least it’s a critical skill-position player who is recovering from an injury and now gets more time to get healthy.

Also worth noting: Bell is about to be due a new contract. 2016 is the final year of his rookie deal, a contract he’s vastly outperformed. But he’s now suffered an ACL tear and been suspended for five of a possible 32 games in the span of one calendar year. At the very most he’ll have played 19 games over the last two years.


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