We heard back in February that suspended wideout Martavis Bryant could apply for reinstatement this month. That’s apparently still the plan, as the receiver told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that he’s planning on applying for reinstatement in the coming weeks (Twitter link).
Bryant was banned indefinitely back in December after unsuccessfully fighting a substance abuse suspension. According to Graziano, the 27-year-old is now arguing that the league’s drug program “is not set up to offer players access to proper treatment for mental health issues.” Regardless of the argument’s merit, the receiver will presumably have to continue executing his treatment plan in accordance with the league’s wishes.
Furthermore, it’s uncertain if the NFL will be all that willing to let Bryant back into the league. Back in December, FanSided.com’s Jason Cole cited one league source who didn’t believe that Bryant “will ever play again.” The receiver reportedly “seriously angered” the NFL during his appeals process.
The 2014 fourth-round pick had previously served two suspensions during his stint with the Steelers: a four-game ban in 2015 and a season-long ban in 2016. He was conditionally reinstated by the league in April of 2017, and this most-recent ban was attributed to “violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement.”
The Raiders sent Pittsburgh a third-rounder during the 2018 draft to acquire Bryant, but the organization later learned that the wideout was facing this potential suspension. The Raiders ended up releasing the wideout at the end of the preseason, but they re-signed him to a one-year deal less than two weeks later. Bryant was allowed to play during the appeals process, and he proceeded to play in eight games for Oakland, hauling in 19 receptions for 266 yards and no touchdowns. The team placed the receiver on the injured reserve in early December after he suffered a knee injury.
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