According to a report from Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, recently arrested Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will play on Thursday night in the team's preseason match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Both players were arrested on Wednesday night and are expected to be charged with possession of marijuana. Bell is also expected to face charges for driving under the influence.
Here's a take on both Bell and Blount playing on Thurdsay night from our friends over at Behind the Steel Curtain:
What message this sends is likely to be debated. While charges for possession for either player have not formally been made, some may have expected the team to sit them for this game. On the other hand, the league allows suspended players to participate in preseason action. Any future suspension isn't likely to exceed a game or maybe two, so they both will still contribute a large amount this season.
Still, it's curious who will replace either running back in the team's base offense. It seems as if they will want to prepare another player in case that suspension comes sooner rather than later.
As far as the Eagles are concerned, they're probably glad to see both players will be active. Considering NFL preseason is often about player evaluation, it's better for the Eagles' starters to go up against opposing starters such as Bell and Blount instead of having to face the Steelers' deep reserves.