The bad news for Pittsburgh Steelers fans: Le’Veon Bell still will begin the 2016 NFL season on the sideline.
The good news: It appears he can return to action a week earlier than expected.
The Steelers running back has had his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy reduced to three games upon appeal, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday afternoon. Bell now reportedly will be eligible to return for Pittsburgh’s Week 4 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs — and save a little extra coin in the process.
Bell is one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL when he’s on the field, and getting him back for an extra game certainly benefits the Steelers (and fantasy owners who already drafted him in their leagues). He might not be too pleased with the results of the appeal, though, as the 24-year-old insisted earlier in training camp he wouldn’t miss any games this season.
Bell went through this same ordeal last season, getting his four-game suspension for substance abuse reduced to two games following an appeal. But he ended up playing just six games in 2015, tearing his MCL in a Nov. 1 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Michigan State product averaged 4.9 yards per carry (556 yards on 113 attempts) and tallied three touchdowns in those six games.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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