Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell says that although he has no issues with his suspension after a marijuana arrest last year, he hopes the NFL will look at reducing the ban.
Bell will miss the first three games of the 2015 season after being suspended without pay for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He was arrested for marijuana possession and driving under the influence while headed to an airport with former Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount before a preseason game last year.
Bell, 23, received 15 months of probation and entered the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for nonviolent, first-time offenders. He also had his license suspended for 60 days and was ordered to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
Bell is scheduled to make his season debut in the team's Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 1.
“I did everything that they needed me to do, and I did it quick,” Bell said to ESPN. “So eventually that's going to be off my record. Obviously, like I said, I still have to do my time that they gave me, but if (the league) were to look into that and all the community service that I did and the classes that I had to take in eventually getting it off my record, that should be something that maybe they consider and help me knock off some time.”
Blount, who now plays for the New England Patriots, will be suspended for the season opener for his violation of the substance abuse policy. Blount was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, but that charge was dropped after he completed 50 hours of community service.
The team brought in veteran DeAngelo Williams to help carry the load at running back during Bell's absence.
“I made a mistake," Bell said. "I'm going to just have to do my time, whatever the final decision may be. Get past it, and get ready for next season and continuing to be the great football player I know I can be."
- Scooby Axson