Pittsburgh Steelers running backs LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell are facing marijuana possession charges after the drug was discovered inside their vehicle by a police officer on Aug. 20.
"Two members of the Steelers' backfield probably will be cited with marijuana violations after a Ross police officer smelled marijuana coming from their vehicle Wednesday afternoon.
"Running backs Le'Veon Bell, 22, and LeGarrette Blount, 27, are expected to be charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. Police anticipate charging Mr. Bell as well with driving under the influence of marijuana.
"The traffic officer, Sean Stafiej, smelled marijuana while stopped on his motorcycle at a red light at the intersection of McKnight Road and Braunlich Drive.
"'As traffic moved forward, he was able to identify the specific car,' said Ross police Det. Brian Kohlepp.
"Officer Stafiej pulled over the Black Camaro, registered to Mr. Bell, in the Pool City parking lot about 1:30 p.m. and found a plastic bag in the car with about 20 grams of marijuana.
"Mr. Bell, who was driving, Mr. Blount, in the passenger seat, and an unidentified female riding in the backseat of the vehicle claimed collective ownership of the marijuana and all are expected to be charged with possession.
"Citations will probably be mailed out early next week, Det. Kohlhepp said.
"In Pennsylvania, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is considered to be for personal use, rather than distribution, and is classified as a misdemeanor.
"Mr. Bell was taken to UPMC Passavant, where his blood was tested for marijuana. Police anticipate charging him with driving under the influence of marijuana, pending the results of the blood test.
"All three were 'cooperative and polite,' Det. Kohlhepp said.
"The Steelers 'are aware of the reports and still gathering information,' said team spokesman Burt Lauten on Wednesday night. 'We will have no further comment at this time.'"
According to ESPN's Scott Brown, the incident occurred less than two hours before the Steelers were about to leave for Philadelphia, where they will face their in-state rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, for a preseason game on Aug. 21. He adds Blount and Bell could skip the game as the investigation continues:
"The Steelers could hold out both of the Steelers' game Thursday night against the Eagles, and the NFL is expected to review the incident. Bell didn't fly with the Steelers to Philadelphia, according to multiple reports. Blount is with the team, according to ESPN's Ed Werder and multiple reports.
"Bell and Blount have been close since the latter signd a two-year, $3.85 million contract as an unrestricted free agent with the Steelers in March.
"The friendship they quickly formed was expected to make for a smooth transition to the field, where the Steelers plan to split the workload between the two backs.
"Bell broke Franco Harris' record for yards from scrimmage by a rookie last season (1,259) and he won the Joe Greene Performance Award, which is given to the Steeler's top rookie. Blount signed with the Steelers after rushing for 772 yards and seven touchdowns for the New England Patriots last season.
"The fifth-year veteran emerged as the Patriots' best back by the end of the season, and he rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns in an AFC divisional playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.
"Rookie Dri Archer is No. 3 on the Steelers' depth chart at running back but he has also split his time at wide receiver.
"None of the other running backs on the Steelers' roster has played a game in the NFL."