Suddenly the Steelers signing of DeAngelo Williams this offseason has a significantly greater level of importance, with Le'Veon Bell set to miss the first three games of the 2015 season.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bell's been suspended three games for his violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

Bell was arrested during the preseason last year along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount and charged with marijuana possession and DUI.

The running back wasn't aware he could get hit with DUI for driving after smoking, which is a pretty tough way to find that out. 

Pittsburgh didn't suspend either player nor do they plan to. Bell will also lose one additional game check, although the back is appealing the suspension according to Schefter. 

Bell will reportedly miss the first three games of 2015. (USATSI)

Good luck with that. Which is where Williams comes in. The next-best option on the Steelers depth chart is Dri Archer, a talented young man with tons of speed who absolutely shouldn't be put into the role of feature back in any offense. 

Bell was the best back in the league last year so there's going to be a drop off no matter who fills in for him. 

Can Williams conjure anything remotely on the lines of replacement-level production at this stage of his career? The bad news is DeAngelo's 31 years old now and will turn 32 in late April. The good news is he's got limited wear and tear on his body over the past three years. 

Williams has dealt with injuries but he's only carried the ball 436 times in the past three seasons. Averaging 4.1 yards per carry isn't too shabby over that stretch, even if his yards per carry average has gone from 4.3 to 4.2 to 3.5 over those three seasons.

Interestingly Williams has 44 catches for 564 yards in those three seasons. He's not going to be splitting out wide like Bell (Archer can, which gives Pittsburgh some flexibility), but he's a capable receiving back who can fit with what the Steelers want to do in the short-passing game.

There are some red flags. But if Bell ends up missing three full games we could look back on Williams as one of the more important free-agent signings of this offseason.