The Bengals and Steelers have become one of the more heated rivalries in the NFL more recently, but could Le’Veon Bell’s suspension put all that on hold?
Le’Veon Bell is reportedly going to appeal his suspension, but as the NFL Drug Abuse Policy says, a missed drug test is as good as a failed drug test, this will hurt his chances for success.
"Failure to Appear for Testing: The Medical Advisor will be responsible for scheduling all tests and for ensuring that Players are notified when individual testing will take place. A Player who fails to appear for required testing without a valid reason as determined by the Medical Advisor will be subject to discipline as set forth in Appendix E."
Under Appendix E:
"Unless a warning is issued, the first time a Player fails to appear for testing, he will be fined up to $25,000 under his NFL Player Contract and will be placed into the Intervention Program.A second failure to appear for testing will result in a fine of two-seventeenths (2 /17) of the Paragraph 5 amount in his NFL Player Contract.A third violation will result in a four (4) game suspension without pay"
Remember, he already served a two game suspension for his marijuana DUI last season.
The Bengals and Steelers play week two during Bell’s pending suspension, and since the rivalry took a horrible turn when Bell got injured last season, this suspension could put the rivalry on hold.
The biggest game in week two was being headlined by Bell’s return against the Bengals since his ACL tear on a legal tackle by Vontaze Burfict, who is also suspended for three games. Pittsburgh was excited to exact its revenge on Cincinnati without their emotional leader, especially since many fans blame the Steelers exit from the playoffs on Burfict’s hit on Antonio Brown.
However, the return of Bell might be put on hold, and not to mention, they will be missing their number two wide receiver to a year long suspension. It could not only put a damper on the Steelers attempt to win week two, but also take the wind out of the rivalry until their week 15 matchup, when Burfict and Bell should both be available, barring injury or further suspension, to play.
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The Bengals and Steelers do not like each other, which is apparent at this point . Ramon Foster has diarrhea of the mouth, especially on radio, Le’Veon Bell has a rap album and rap sheet, and DeAngelo Williams proved once again that backup running backs are important in twitter wars, just ask Vontaze Burfict.
The only problem is the two key pieces of this rivalry are missing. All we have to go on is Domata Peko pushing William Gay and Adam “Pacman” Jones going after Joey Porter. That is not to say that this game will not get choppy or that their will be some ill willed feelings, but without Vontaze Burfict tackling another Steeler or Bell “exacting” his revenge, it is not the same.
This is certainly a must-watch game, just because it is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, but we may have to wait until their week 15 match up for any fireworks. Even if we have to wait until then, if both these teams are relevant for the next few years, this could be a rivalry that makes NFL history as one of the best.