Pittsburgh Steelers: What to make of Bell and Blount’s arrests

According to recent reports, Pittsburgh Steelers’ running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were arrested around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday for possession of marijuana.

The running back duo was charged during a traffic stop. An area police officer pulled over a Camero in Ross Township and detected a strong smell of marijuana. A  20 gram bag was found inside the vehicle. Bell, Blount and a female passenger claimed the drug and Bell was taken to a nearby hospital to have blood drawn. He’s expected to be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.

As of Wednesday night, the Steelers’ organization released the following statement in regard to the incident: “We are aware of the reports and still gathering information. We will have no further comment at this time.”

All three passengers will be charged with misdemeanors.Pittsburgh Steelers

While this is a slap on the wrist outside of the NFL, inside the league the slap on the wrist may be a little more than a love-tap.

To cite Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon as a prime example of how the NFL is cracking down on marijuana. Gordon — a second time offender — is facing a season-long suspension for using the drug.

This is Blount and Bell’s first incident with the drug and a season-long suspension doesn’t seem likely, but some sort of suspension does.

What’s this mean for the Steelers if their two main backs are suspended for a few games?

It means that one of the best backfields this organization has seen in quite some time will be missing two highly crucial components of their offense.

Bell is coming off a great rookie season and has tremendous upside going into this season. Blount was brought in during free agency and will be the Steelers’ bruiser. The duo complements one another very well and should be a dynamic force, but if the force is forced out for a couple games, where’s this leave the Steelers?

It leaves them with third round pick, Dri Archer, Tauren Poole and a plethora of no-names trying to make a name for themselves.

Archer is not a feature running back. All 5-feet-7, 175 pounds of Archer is nowhere near the running back standard in the NFL and the Steelers never planned to use him as a feature back. Archer is a special kind of back, excelling is screens and as a receiver. In space, Archer’s blazing speed can be deadly, but as an up-the-middle kind of back, he doesn’t stand a chance.

Poole, who has been seeing time this preseason, has some experience but he’s hardly a starter. Other than those two, there are very few others on the roster who can fill the shoes of Bell or Blount.

The most likely scenario is signing some veteran running back and having him fill in for a few games.

Not only does this harm the team from a playing standpoint, but individually, the two backs can’t be in good standing with the Rooneys. The Steelers are an organization that rarely puts up with off the field nonsense. Former wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes got in trouble with marijuana and he was told to take a hike.

Not that old man Rooney will run them out of town, but they’re surely in hot water.

Blount is reportedly traveling with the team to Philadelphia as the Steelers take on a the Eagles on Thursday Night Football, but Bell will not be in Philly.

The starters are expected to play the entire first half, minus Bell of course. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation pans out, but this is a huge blow to the Steelers’ backfield.

UPDATE: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, Bell has made his way to Philadelphia on his own. Blount rode with the team on the charter yesterday.

  • SARA

    Good article, Ryan. Very informational and to the point. You’ve got talent!

  • 70s fan

    come on guys its a privilege to suit up for the black and gold. you play for the Pittsburgh steelers and u let this happen grow up and lets get back to steelers ball and get that 7th ring 49 er are not to far behind we can not let that sh## happen me and my buddy since the 70 s will flipppppp take responsibility and run with it strait to the goal posttttttttt..

  • 70s fan

    70 s

  • Bob Graff

    The Steelers, reduced to waiting to waiting for drug users to return. In the past these guys would have been very quickly ushered away. And extensive leave of absence, rehab, counseling and a reevaluation of there future with the team is the right thing to do. The Steelers once the shinning example of what an organization should be, it will be interesting to see where they stand with this.

  • Phillip Auxt