LATROBE, Pa. - Le'Veon Bell hoped to arrive at Steelers' training camp ready to get to work preparing for the 2016 season with a healthy knee and talking about nothing but football.
Instead he had to address a different topic when he arrived at Saint Vincent College, talking for the first time about appealing a potential suspension for violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Bell was suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season for violating the policy, and is now appealing a second suspension for what is being reported as a missed test, which the NFL categorizes as a failed test in Bell's case because of his previous violation.
"First and foremost I want to apologize to Steelers Nation, all the fans, my players, coaches, for being a distraction through this whole situation," said Bell. "I don't want to be a distraction. The appeal is going to take its course. I am going to let everything handle itself. I am not going to speak too much on it after this, if at all. I can't really say too much about the rest of the situation."
Bell said he was notified about it in March, but the appeal still hasn't taken place.
"I am going to let the appeal process handle itself," said Bell. "I have to handle it for what it is and keep moving forward. I don't want to be a distraction to my teammates. When it first hit it was a little frustrating. I know things will run their course."
Bell did say he was doing well from a health standpoint after missing part of the 2015 season with a knee injury, and is hoping to get plenty of work during training camp and be ready when the regular season begins.
"That is what I am planning for," said Bell. "I am going to do as much as Coach (Mike) Tomlin is going to let me do. They are going to protect me from myself, but I am going to do what I can.
"I would definitely be ready (for the season). I am confident where I am. I feel like if we had a game tomorrow I would be ready to play."
Steelers' players arrive at training camp.