Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'Veon Bell rushes during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles. (Michael Perez / Associated Press)
Philadelphia — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin played halfbacks Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount in Thursday night’s 31-21 loss to the Eagles.
Bell started and gained 23 yards on nine carries. He also caught a pass for three yards. Blount had 32 yards on seven carries and three receptions for 14 yards.
A source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette it would be a “reward” not to play them in an exhibition game.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy left the game after scoring a first-quarter touchdown because of a thumb injury, X-rays were negative but McCoy didn’t return.
In the longer term, Bell (Michigan State) and Blount opened themselves up to more scrutiny by NFL drug testers with their pending charges for marijuana possession but likely will not face a suspension in 2014.
Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement with its Players Association, commissioner Roger Goodell can impose up to a four-game suspension for players charged with illegal use or possession of drugs of abuse other than alcohol.
However, in similar cases, Goodell has suspended players for only one game and those did not come until the following season after they were charged.
That discipline is under the assumption that neither Bell nor Blount had any previous positive drug tests which might have put them in a different category; that would have subjected them to random tests and an automatic four-game suspension with a second violation. Such first positive tests are kept confidential by the league, so it cannot be determined if Bell and Blount had any previous positive test.
Bell is in his second season with the Steelers. Blount is with his fourth team in five seasons after he went undrafted in 2010.
He signed a two-year, $3.85 million contract with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent from New England this year.
As it is, the fact they will be charged with marijuana use/possession — even if they are not convicted later — subjects both to be placed into the NFL’s drug intervention stage and to career-long random testing throughout the year.
Bell, who also faces DUI charges as the driver of the car, will not face additional NFL suspension even if convicted of that charge, but the league could levy an additional fine.
The 49ers were working to re-sod the field at new Levi’s Stadium a day after a public workout was cut short and moved to the regular practice fields because players were slipping.
San Francisco hosts San Diego at the $1.2 billion stadium on Sunday, and the team has said it expects to have the field ready in time. KTVU’s news chopper showed images of the sod replacement in some areas of the turf.
... Colts owner Jim Irsay’s trial on two misdemeanor charges stemming from a March traffic stop has been postponed for two months.
Irsay’s trial had been scheduled for next week, but Hamilton County court records show it’s been rescheduled for Oct. 30.
... Titans rookie offensiuve tackle Taylor Lewan (Michigan) was fined $8,200 for committing two unnecessary roughness penalties last week against the Saints.