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Steelers' Bell, Blount charged with pot possession

The Pittsburgh Steelers backfield is in legal trouble.

Detective Brian Kohlhepp of the Ross Township, Pennsylvania Police Department confirmed to NFL Media that running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were pulled over Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. ET. They, along with a female passenger in the backseat, were taken into custody and admitted to marijuana possession, per Kohlhepp.

Possession of marijuana charges were filed against all three on Thursday, the same day they returned to the field for preseason action. Bell faces an additional charge of a DUI (marijuana).

The running backs were pulled over not long before they were due to join a team flight to Philadelphia. A traffic officer said he spotted Bell's black Chevy Camaro after smelling marijuana. According to a police complaint, a medium-sized bag with about 20g of marijuana was recovered in the car. The complaint says that Bell (who was driving) admitted that all three had just purchased the marijuana a short time ago.

The complaint further quotes Bell as saying: "I didn't know that you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine. Why would I be getting high if I had to get on a plane to make it to my game?"

Bell was taken to UPMC Passavant -- a local hospital -- to have blood drawn under the suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Bell and Blount combined for 55 rushing yards on 16 carries in Philadelphia on Thursday. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes he would have let his players off the hook if he held them out.

"I didn't view it as punishment to send them home, to be quite honest with you," Tomlin said. "I rather them play more than to remove them from the game."

Now that both players are formally charged, they are subject to the league's substance abuse policy.

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