The Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Martavis Bryant have had a rocky relationship. In 2015, Bryant served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Bryant came back after serving his punishment and finished the season very strong. In 2016, the Steelers had high aspirations of making a championship run, but Bryant was suspended again for the same offense. This time, a year long suspension from the NFL. The Steelers fell short to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship in a game where they had problems at wide receiver behind Antonio Brown.
Today kicked off the beginning of Organized Team Activities for the Steelers, and Bryant who has been reinstated by the league in April, has reported to the team. After practice concluded, Bryant faced the media for the first time minus his Sports Illustrated story he did back in January.
Bryant told the media he was running with the first team today. This does not serve as much surprise. Bryant appears to be the second best receiver on the roster even if he was off the team for an entire season. The 6’4″ wide receiver went onto say that he has added ten pounds of muscle onto his 6’4″ frame and is now 225 pounds.
However, no matter how fast and strong Bryant looks, none of it matters if he can not stay clean. He told the media that he is a completely different person than he was the last time we had seen him. Bryant told reporters he could not even bear to watch the Steelers play last season.
“To focus on my sobriety,” says Bryant. “Also knowing I let myself down, my teammates down. I could not bear to watch it.”
Although he is conditionally reinstated, Bryant must prove he can stay clean to remain on the team. He will be drug tested three times a week and must meet with a counselor two times a week.
The future could be very bright for Bryant if he can stay clean. It would appear this would probably be his last chance to get it right with the Steelers. Cleveland Browns‘ wide receiver Josh Gordon did not get so lucky. The NFL denied his reinstatement to return to the team earlier this month. Perhaps another eye-opening moment for Martavis Bryant if he does not stay on the straight and narrow.