Pittsburgh Steelers reserve running back Benny Snell Jr. was in the news this week and largely for the wrong reasons. On Wednesday the Steelers announced that Snell will be out for a few weeks after knee surgery from injuries sustained during the Steelers Monday Night win over the Dolphins.
That came a day after news broke that Harrison County, Ohio prosecutors had declined to charge Benny Snell for marijuana possession. Snell had been stopped for speeding on August 30th when police discovered marijuana in his car, and he admitted to having smoked it about 20 minutes before the stop.
- So while prosecutors gave a pass on criminal chargers, Benny Snell failed the “Idiot Test” with flying colors.
Now comes the obligatory paragraph where the writer acknowledges that cultural, social and legal norms and mores on marijuana are changing rapidly. Moreover, it is clear that marijuana does offer legitimate medical uses.
Great. Got it. Now let’s also acknowledge:
- Marijuana remains illegal under federal law
- Marijuana is also illegal under Ohio law
- Use of marijuana violates the NFL’s code of conduct
- Its against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana
- Marijuana gives off a highly distinct odor
- Odor or no, police offers are permitted to search anything in plain view during traffic stops
Regardless of your views on marijuana, you knew all of this before you read it. Its likely that anyone from high schoolers or above know it too. Benny Snell Jr. knew all of that too and if he didn’t, he certainly should have.
Yet, he not only chose to drive after smoking marijuana in his car, he drove above the speed limit and while he had a bag of marijuana on the front seat (the bag had a Star Wars logo, we’re told.)
Snell won’t face criminal charges, but now that his offense is in the public eye, he could very well find himself in the NFL’s substance abuse program, which would include regular random drug tests. And for that, he has only himself to blame.
- For the record I like Benny Snell.
Lack of depth at running back has plagued the latter part of the Mike Tomlin-Ben Roethlisberger era. Based on his play against the Chargers, Benny Snell looks like he’s at least capable of being a quality third running back behind James Conner and Jaylen Samuels.
But what he did here is really dumb.
No Charges for Chickillo, Could Still Face League Discipline
Speaking of charges, Steelers reserve linebacker Anthony Chickillo will not face charges stemming from an alleged domestic incident between him and his girlfriend during the Steelers bye week at Nemacolin Woodlands.
- As a result, Anthony Chickillo has been removed from the NFL’s Commissioner’s list.
The move returns Chickillo to the Steelers roster where he’ll back up T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. However, Chickillo isn’t out of the woods yet. Per Kevin Colbert’s statement, the NFL will continue to investigate the issue and he “could still be subject to discipline by the League Office under the Personal Conduct Policy.”
As Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reminds us , Anthony Chickillo could face a six game suspension with as a first time offender, although the league office reserves the right to revise that upwards or downwards.
To make room for Anthony Chickillo on the roster, the Steelers released Jayron Elliott.