Le’Veon Bell is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy via missed drug tests, and the Steelers running back is planning his defense.
Bell told the media Thursday he plans to appeal the suspension “sometime in August” and that he was notified of a missed test and his suspension in March, according to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Bell’s appeal will not be heard until the second week of August.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to my teammates or to Steelers Nation,” Bell added. “So I’m just going to keep moving forward and let everything handle itself.”
The appeals process is bound to interrupt Bell’s rehab from his season-ending knee injury, but the running back added he was confident that he’d be ready for the start of the season, whether or not he’s suspended.
The four-game ban, which NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported last Friday, is Bell’s second in two years; he had a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse reduced to two games in 2015. Per Rapoport, Bell will have the opportunity to explain why he missed the test, but the NFL’s policies are so stringent that there might not be much wiggle room.
“I don’t really think it’s a curse,” Cimini replied. “They don’t have a quarterback! If they have a quarterback, they wouldn’t have this problem. How many franchise quarterbacks have they had since Namath? Maybe there’s a quarterback curse.”
The Jets are still searching for that defining franchise star to succeed Namath. But to watch Fitzpatrick finally bring stability to the position, then walk over a couple million dollars, would have been maddening.
That won’t be the case now. The Jets have their QB and bring back a strong defense that got better in the offseason. This is a team that can make some noise if things break the right way.
Of course, things never break the right way for the Jets. So forget it. There’s no need to take them seriously. You should probably focus elsewhere. Just how the quarterback likes it.