Le’Veon Bell Handed 3-Game Suspension
Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell rose to the top of the league at his position in 2014. For the first three games of the 2015 NFL season, he’ll be starting at the bottom.
Per reports, the Steelers finally learned the fate for their star rusher, who violated the league’s substance abuse policy last year. Bell will serve a three-game ban to start the year, leaving the team without one of it’s top offensive threats.
Bell reportedly will seek a reduced suspension, but considering the ban is only for three games and the league has stood firm on it’s rulings recently, he doesn’t have much hope.
Bell’s suspension puts Pittsburgh’s offense in a bit of a bind to start the new season, as for now it looks like they’ll be leaning heavily on veteran running back DeAngelo Williams. Williams appeared to regress heavily in his final seasons with the Carolina Panthers, the only other NFL team he’s ever known.
Despite turning 32 at the end of April, D-Will still serves as a solid veteran presence and could be aided by gadget weapon, Dri Archer. The combo won’t come anywhere close to replacing Bell’s physicality or production, of course, which could lead to the Steelers being much more one-dimensional. That could mean more pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game, while it could also lead to a slow start out of the gates for the yellow and black.
Le’Veon Bell blew up in just his second NFL season a year ago, amassing over 2,100 total yards and 11 touchdowns. One of the most efficient and versatile backs in the league, Bell figures to pick up right where he left off once he returns in Pittsburgh’s fourth game.
Considering Bell was a huge reason (if not the reason) the Steelers returned to the playoffs last year, his absence could be massive in the first three weeks. If the Steelers brave the storm and are in decent shape when he gets back, however, they should once again be realistic threats for a playoff run.
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