Martavis Bryant Facing One-Year Suspension for Substance Abuse Policy Violations
After a second violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant may be facing a one-year suspension which would cause him to miss the entire 2016 season.
Bryant is coming off of 765 yards and six touchdowns in 2015 after serving a four-game suspension for substance abuse violations, and he will appeal the suspension, according to his agent, Brian Fettner.
“We’re all stunned, me included,” said Fettner. “We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it…This is a long road to earn people’s trust back, but honestly, we can’t even worry about that right now. You’ve got to get him healthy.”
After an acrobatic touchdown in the Wild Card matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, Bryant hauled in nine passes for 154 yards with Antonio Brown out against the Denver Broncos. Since the Steelers took him with a fourth-round selection in 2014, Bryant has emerged as one of the leading receivers on the team and has slowly made his way to the national spotlight.
“Martavis is a player that has tremendous ability and potential,” said chairman Art Rooney II back in January. “We just have to continue to work with him to make sure he takes care of his business off the field to put himself in a position to be as great a player as he can be. He’s one of those guys where the sky is the limit. I hope the experience he had earlier this season made an impact on him. But it’s one of those things where only time will tell.”
Apparently Bryant has some demons. Fortunately, he has checked into a rehab facility and is seeking professional help. Football should be an afterthought to Bryant’s mental health, but losing out on his third season in the NFL is definitely something Bryant and the Steelers would like to avoid.
No fan likes to see talent put on hold.