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Le’Veon Bell Faces Suspension Over Missed Test

In the NFL, it can sometimes feel like a player’s talent is inversely proportional to how long he can stay on the field. For members of the Steelers young and potent offense, that seems more like the norm every offseason. Running back Le’Veon Bell is now facing a potential four-game suspension for violation of the league’s drug policy.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the suspension would come down not over a failed test, but a missed test. Unfortunately for Bell, the NFL treats the two as one and the same.

The news comes mere weeks after Bell somewhat smugly tweeted “good luck with that sample,” presumably a jab to the NFL and it’s “random” drug testing policy in the wake of Bell’s DUI conviction this time last year. Perhaps Bell meant that literally, seeing as how he never delivered a sample in the first place.

And while his two-game suspension served for his DUI did involve the use of marijuana (likely the culprit behind Le’Veon’s latest pickle), it was technically served as a suspension on disciplinary grounds, not a failed test. A second strike against the drug policy would have carried a suspension for ten games, and essentially neutered Bell’s season for the second straight year.

Steeler fans are growing weary of seeing their young guns sidelined over stupid decisions. Many were surprised to see the organisation stick with splash-play wideout Martavis Bryant as he sits out the entire 2016 season. That will be the case for Bell as well, since the team would much rather have him for twelve games than zero.

But one has to wonder exactly where the buck stops with a franchise that has traditionally refused to tolerate selfishness from even its biggest stars.

With contract negotiations fast approaching for both Bell and Antonio Brown, continued team success could force the Steelers to only sign one playmaker. The Rooney family has stated in the past that Le’Veon’s future lies in Pittsburgh. But that’s a much easier claim to make when the factors keeping a player off the field are entirely out of his control.

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