PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Despite being caught in possession of marijuana on Wednesday, Steelers’ running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount made the trip to Philadelphia and played against the Eagles tonight.
It all came in the immediate aftermath of a traffic stop in Ross Township Wednesday afternoon, where both were found to be in possession of marijuana.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the issues during his post-game comments.
“I have no reaction other than the statement that we released. We’re aware of it. Obviously, that conduct is detrimental to our efforts. They’ll be dealt with appropriately,” he said. “From my perspective, in terms of their participation tonight, I didn’t view it as punishment to send them home to be quite honest with you, to not play in this preseason game. I’d rather them play more than anticipated than to remove them from the game, so that’s why we took the stance that we took tonight. Obviously, we got some things to do regarding the matter moving forward, but not a lot to say regarding it at this point in time.”
Charges have now been filed against both players, Ross Township Police say.
Bell is facing possession of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana counts. Blount is charged with possession of marijuana. Also, the woman they were with, now identified as Mercedes Dollson, 21, of the state of California, is charged with possession of marijuana.
All charges are misdemeanors.
According to Ross Township Police, it all started around 1:30 p.m. along busy McKnight Road when a motorcycle officer, who was stopped at a red light, smelled marijuana coming from a black Camaro.
“It was strong enough that it got his attention at the red light,” said Ross Township Police Det. Brian Kohlhepp. “As they continued forward, he identified the specific car that the smell was coming from. I would think it’d be pretty strong.”
Police say Bell was driving, Blount was in the front passenger seat and Dollson was in the back seat of the vehicle.
Investigators said a Ziploc-style bag containing about 20 grams of marijuana was found on the console.
93-7 The Fan Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette from the Post-Gazette joined “The Cook and Poni Show” from Philadelphia to detail the latest on Bell and Blount.
Shortly after his interview, he tweeted that both Bell and Blount are expected to play against the Eagles.
As of now, #Steelers coach Mike Tomlin plans to play both RB Bell and Blount tonight vs. Eagles. Wd be a “reward” not to in a preseason G.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) August 21, 2014
Listen to the interview below:
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
It’s unknown how this will play out from a legal standpoint. Both are facing possession charges and Bell is also facing charges of DUI of marijuana.
Earlier, Edmund Nelson joined “The Fan Morning Show” and said he thinks Mike Tomlin will send a message to both players.
“I think coach Tomlin is going to send a message – a very clear message at some point – I don’t know when that message will be, but he’s going to send a very clear message,” Nelson said. “For those guys to miss a preseason game, that’s like giving them vacation days. So, I would not be surprised to see them both on the field tonight.”
Bouchette also weighed in on what punishments both Blunt and Bell could be facing now and in the future.
“Were looking at one game possibly,” Bouchette said. “The suspensions won’t come soon, but now they have allowed themselves to be entered into the program where they can randomly be tested and facing an automatic four games if they fail.”
Listen to Nelson’s interview below:
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Fans had strong opinions on the situation as well.
“Just a dumb move. I mean multi-millionaires. You make a stupid move like that to jeopardize your wealth,” Ralph Johnson said.
“Boys will be boys,” another Steelers fan added. “We’re moving into an era where this is becoming far more acceptable.”
“You’re working in a career where that’s against the rules, you’re in the public eye and you don’t have the luxuries that most anonymous people do to act like that. So, you’d have to be more careful I would think,” Dan Herdman said.
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