When the Pittsburgh Steelers fans and organization heard of the NFL handing RB Le'Veon Bell a 3-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, they knew they would have to start the 2015 season without their Pro Bowl back. What they didn't know is which games Bell would be missing, but with the schedule officially released, now they know.
Bell will miss the season opener against the New England Patriots on September 10th, the official launch of the 2015 regular season. Bell won't be the only running back missing that game, as Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is also suspended for one-game for violating the substance abuse policy.
On top of Bell missing the game against the defending Super Bowl champions, he will be missing a home game against San Francisco and an away match-up with the Rams. Bell's first game back will be at home against the Ravens on Thursday Night Football in Week 4.
The Steelers have not done well without Bell in the lineup, an 0-4 record to be exact. This offseason the organization brought in DeAngelo Williams to help with stability and depth at the RB position, and he will need to carry the load in Bell's absence.
Just as the Steelers of 2010 rallied around the 4-game suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and fought their way to play in Super Bowl 45 against the Green Bay Packers, maybe the 2015 Steelers will rally the troops and hold serve until their star running back returns to the lineup.