Martavis Bryant Suspended For 2016 Season

MARCH 14, 1:11pm: As confirmed by the Steelers, Bryant will indeed face a suspension of at least a year, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). Sources tell Wilson that Bryant is no longer appealing his ban because it was “unwinnable.” The Steelers wideout will be eligible for reinstatement next winter, and could return for the 2017 season.

MARCH 12, 3:29pm:¬†Bryant will check into rehab for depression issues, agent Brian Fettner tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Bryant’s ban stems from multiple missed drug tests, Fettner told Pelissero, and that a successful appeal of the penalty looms a “long shot.” Multiple missed tests appear to have vaulted Bryant past the 10-game suspension stage in the substance-abuse protocol, according to Pelissero.

Fettner also told Pelissero that Bryant has a marijuana problem.

1:08pm:¬†Martavis Bryant could be set for another suspension, with this one set to shelve him for the entire 2016 season. The third-year Steelers wideout faces a year-long ban for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Dejan Kovacevic and Jason Mackey of report.

Ian Rapoport of confirms Bryant is facing another and far more significant suspension (Twitter link).

Bryant has appealed the suspension, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets.

Should this penalty hold, Bryant would land in the same area Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon have in recent years, with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after one calendar year, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

The 24-year-old rising talent missed Pittsburgh’s first four games last season due to multiple violations of the substance-abuse policy, with marijuana usage being at the root of the penalty. Upon return, he quickly re-emerged as the Steelers’ No. 2 wide receiver and formed arguably the NFL’s No. 1 wide-receiving corps along with Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton.

Bryant caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns in 2015 and added 183 yards and a score in Pittsburgh’s two playoff games.

The mercurial wideout underwent three weeks of counseling in Houston last September before returning from his ban.

A 6-foot-4 target out of Clemson, Bryant began his career midway through the 2014 season due to a separated shoulder but immediately developed a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger, becoming Pittsburgh’s latest receiving find. He has 16 career touchdowns in 24 games, counting three playoff contests.

The Steelers could be forced to turn to second-year wideout Sammie Coates in the event Bryant’s longest slated absence to date goes into effect.

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images

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15 comments on “Martavis Bryant Suspended For 2016 Season

  1. Bazingaa

    Stupid steeler….oh well one less weapon for Big Ben, makes lives a little easier for rest of afc north

  2. jlivers77

    They should bring back Mike Wallace or take someone in the draft.

  3. steelman

    If this stands they need to cut him and rid themselves of this distraction!

    • TJECK109

      No. Let him rot on the roster. Someone like Jerry Jones will double his salary. Easier to explain pot than domestic abuse. He will have a list of teams throwing money his way.

  4. steelman

    If report is true then cut him now!!!!

  5. dorfmac

    The NFL really needs to change the marijuana policy, and in the meantime, players need to abide by it. The players look dumb in these situations, but so does the NFL.

    • Vedder80

      It is a controlled substance. Is it really that hard to not break the law?

      • dorfmac

        It is a controlled substance that is legal in multiple states and decriminalized in many more.

        Like I said, if the rule is in place, the player needs to follow it, but the league also needs to get with the times.

        • RShockey

          You are kidding? How can we support a cancer which will only grow and overcome team discipline! We sent Holmes, we can send Bryant.

    • Vedder80

      It is a controlled substance and illegal. Is it really that hard to not break the law?

      • mdvorak

        It’s not illegal in Denver, yet those players would also be subject to suspension.

        • SgtRedBull

          It is illegal in all 50 states.

          Federal Law>State Law.

          It’s just not being enforced.

  6. TJECK109

    Andre Johnson?

  7. jackblue411

    Damn shame, was hoping I could snag him again in fantasy and he’d breakout. Wish him the best

  8. RShockey

    Too bad Bryant did not have the brains to go along with his outstanding ability. I believe this is his third failure to meet the test. I support the statement: fooled once, shame on you; fooled twice, shame on you. Bryant needs to go. Supporting his habit would be disastrous to the team. We’re talking of more than marajuana here!

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