Le'Veon Bell has been suspended by the NFL for the first three games of the 2015 season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. He will also surrender a fourth game check as part of the punishment. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back plans to appeal the decision, which stems from his arrest for marijuana possession along with former teammate LeGarrette Blount last year.
Bell and Blount, plus a third passenger, were stopped in August 2014 and found to be in possession of 20 grams of marijuana. Bell also received a citation for driving under the influence, something that surprised Bell at the time when he told the police officer, "I didn't know you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I'm not high anymore. I'm perfectly fine."
Blount was suspended for one game. The stiffer penalty for Bell may stem from the fact that he was driving and got the DUI as a result.
The Steelers will have to lean on recently added DeAngelo Williams, along with Dri Archer and Josh Harris, to fill out the running back rotation while Bell is absent. His suspension could change based on the outcome of the appeal.
Bell had a total of 2,215 yards from scrimmage last season, including 1,361 rushing yards. He also scored a total of 11 touchdowns, eight of those coming on the ground, as one of the centerpieces for a Steelers offense that scored an average of more than 27 points per game.