(In the original post, a photo of Steelers defensive back Devin Smith was incorrectly identified as being Le'Veon Bell. The error has been corrected.)
Not surprisingly, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't hold up their team charter flight for Le'Veon Bell while he was having blood drawn following a marijuana possession arrest.
So not only did Bell, the team's second-year starting tailback, get charged with marijuana possession and likely a DUI (that's why he was having blood drawn), he had to book a flight, go through security with the common folk and squeeze into a regular airline seat on the way to Philadelphia for the team's preseason game on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette confirmed that Bell wasn't on the team charter but made it to Philadelphia on his own. No word on whether Bell kept asking for extra dry roasted peanuts the entire flight to cure his munchies.
One would assume coach Mike Tomlin didn't send a limo to pick him up at the airport either.
Whatever one thinks about marijuana, whether it should be legal and if the NFL punishes those who use it too harshly, the Steelers can't be happy with Bell and fellow tailback LeGarrette Blount, who were both arrested on Wednesday and charged with marijuana possession. Blount made the team charter flight because he was charged only with possession, not a DUI like Bell.
The crime might not be that big of a deal, depending on your views, but the timing raises questions. The two running backs and a female companion were pulled over after an officer smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to ESPN.com. That came at about 1:30 p.m., less than two hours before the Steelers' flight for their game against the Eagles was to leave.
Again, no matter your views on marijuana, smoking it less than two hours before you have to get on a flight for your job is frowned upon by most companies.
If the Steelers let the NFL handle any discipline that comes from the case, it's unlikely to be settled this season. Even though the duo might avoid suspension for this season, if the team doesn't punish them itself, Steelers officials are likely to ask more than a few questions to their top two tailbacks about the incident.
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