We learned Thursday that the Steelers will likely be forced to continue without Bell when a new season begins. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Bell is facing a three-game suspension and a fine of an additional game check connected to a DUI arrest and marijuana possession charge last summer. Bell's absence will be temporary, but it still leaves the Steelers in a vulnerable position come September.
We'll find out soon if the schedule does the Steelers any favors in September. One scenario to watch: The Steelers are on the Patriots' home schedule, and a showdown of AFC heavyweights is an appetizing option for the annual Thursday night kickoff game played in the house of the reigning Super Bowl champion.