Steelers Smartly Planned Ahead For Bell’s Suspension By Signing Williams

The three-game suspension handed down by the league Thursday to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell for violating substance abuse policy will ultimately result in veteran DeAngelo Williams opening the 2015 season as the starter.

While Williams will receive more playing time early on in the season with Bell suspended, he made his feelings known on Twitter Thursday as it relates to the decision that was handed down by the league.

The Steelers have known for quite a while that Bell would more than likely be suspended for at least two games to start the 2015 season after he was arrested and charged with a DUI and possession of marijuana last August, and that’s one of the reasons as to why they made sure to sign Williams during free agency.

Including their playoff game last year against the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers are 0-4 in games that Bell has missed due to injuries.

Williams, who will turn 32 later this month, rushed for 219 yards on 62 attempts last season in the six games that he played in. While the Memphis product and former first-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers will likely receive the bulk of the work at running back while Bell serves his suspension, he’s likely to get some help during those games.

During his nine seasons in the league, Williams has only had 20 or more rushes in a single game 14 times. The last time he hit that number was in 2013 when he rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries in the Panthers 38-0 win over the New York Giants. One week earlier, Williams rushed for 85 yards on 22 carries in the Panthers 24-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

The Steelers might very well draft a running back in the upcoming draft and if that ultimately happens, that player would compete against Dri Archer and Josh Harris during training camp for playing time and a spot on the 53 man roster.

Including the one playoff game last season against the Ravens, Archer and Harris combined to carry the football 29 times for 80 yards in 2014.

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