The entire NFL world knows the date of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension for his role in the 'Deflategate' scandal; however, Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell continues to be left in the dark regarding his three-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Bell told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he is still appealing his suspension, but has not heard from the league in regards to when his appeal will be heard.
Obviously, the league wants to try and put the 'Deflategate' scandal to bed as quickly as possible, but at the same time shouldn't ignore other appeals and issues across the NFL landscape.
The Steelers are prepared for Bell's suspension, and brought in insurance in the form of former Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams. The combination of Williams, Dri Archer and Josh Harris seem to be the combination the team will deploy throughout the duration of Bell's absence, for however many games that may be.
Despite the fact the Steelers are better equipped for a Bell suspension in 2015 than they were in 2014, with backup LeGarrette Blount in the mix, it doesn't answer the question as to why Bell hasn't heard from the league in regards to his appeal. The league will have plenty of time to iron out the issues in the following weeks before training camp, but I'm sure the Steelers organization would gladly like to hear the result of the appeal from arguably their best offensive player.
If Bell's suspension is upheld, and there is a chance that happens, he will miss the season opener against the New England Patriots, a home game against the San Francisco 49ers and a road trip to play the St. Louis Rams. Even if the suspension is reduced to two games, the Steelers surely could use Bell against the stout Rams defense in the dome. Otherwise, Bell won't be joining his teammates until Week 4 when the Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens for the first time of the season.
Whether the suspension is upheld or reduced, the Steelers organization, Bell and the fan base would simply like an answer to the question...preferably before the team reports to training camp on July 25th.