It all started Tuesday afternoon when longtime Pittsburgh sports radio host Mark Madden tweeted this:
I'm told Lev Bell skipped a drug test& is facing susp. Right now, it's a rumor. But it's a pretty strong rumor.— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) June 14, 2016
As you can imagine, that set off a panic among Steelers fans; the team already lost wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the year because he violated the league's substance-abuse policy, and Le'Veon Bell, arguably the NFL's best back, missed two games last season for DUI and marijuana possession. Bell's also a key cog in a potent Steelers offense that would become considerably less so in his absence.
But Steeler Nation was able to breathe again a short time later, when Bell denied the rumor.
"I don't know what you are talking about," Bell said when asked about the report, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly.
"I am fine," Bell continued. "I haven't missed any drug tests, failed any drug tests. I can't keep talking about the drug test. I probably already said too much about it so I really can't keep talking about it. People are going to say what they want to say on the internet. It is people who really have nothing to do. I don't get upset or let it bother me."
So that's that, right? Madden wasn't sure.
Everyone believes that Lev Bell is telling the truth, huh? OK.— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) June 14, 2016
Several months ago, Bell tweeted about a recent random test that fell on April 20. That's the date the league opens its annual drug-testing window -- which also happens to fall on the same day as the unofficial weed-smoking holiday. The running back tweeted at the time, "Good luck with that sample," though he was clearly joking.
There has been no word from the NFL or the Steelers about Tuesday's rumors, and as it stands, Bell has neither missed a test nor is he facing suspension.