John Clayton of ESPN previously reported that Bell was expected to be suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season as a result of his August arrest on marijuana charges, but it looks like the league decided to take on an additional game to his ban.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert acknowledged shortly after the season had concluded that they will need to be prepared in the event Bell does receive a suspension from the league.
Bell and former Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount were arrested back in August after police smelled marijuana coming from their vehicle. Bell will be required to spend 15 months on probation in a first-offender’s program and will have his driver’s license suspended for 60 days.
The NFL’s new substance abuse policy states that first-offender’s will face up to a two-game suspension.
Bell, 22, is coming off of a very impressive second year in the league in which he wound up as the NFL’s second-leading rusher.
He ran for 1,361 yards on 290 carries (4.7 YPC) to go along with 83 catches for 854 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 1 running back in the league.