The Pittsburgh Steelers have a problem atop their running back depth chart, but it has little to do with talent. The team’s top two running backs, Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, were arrested on Wednesday for possession of marijuana, while Bell was charged with a DUI, as well.
The two reportedly had 20 grams of pot on them when they were caught, but the two Steelers running backs (as well as a female that was with them) “cooperated” with police and admitted their crimes.
Coming clean right off the bat helps, but both running backs still could face a team and/or league suspension. This is Bell’s first offense in the NFL, but it’s potentially a fairly staggering one considering he broke two league rules at the same time. Even if Bell would get a slap on the wrist for one offense, it’s possible the NFL could hand him down a lengthy suspension for doing two things that go against their code of conduct.
Blount has had various run-ins going back to his college days at Oregon, but it should help that he only was one of the three people caught with marijuana. Still, Blount’s shaky track record could lead to a suspension of his own.
The good news is that it’s a clouded situation that won’t even sort itself out for months, so the league will probably wait on any punishment until following the regular season. The Steelers, on the other hand, could still decide to inflict their own punishment.
They may want to consider not doing that, however, as the team has very little depth behind their top two running backs. Rookie “offensive weapon” Dri Archer really doesn’t have a true position, while the only other backs are little known Tauren Poole and Stephen Houston.
Pittsburgh brought Blount on to be a running mate with second-year back Bell, not to get him into trouble. It wouldn’t be crazy to think the Steelers would be above parting with Blount to help make sure Bell doesn’t get more clouded judgment going forward. For now, it doesn’t appear like any discipline is imminent, and both players are expected to be with the team for their third preseason game on Thursday night.