The Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that wide receiver Martavis Bryant had been reinstated to the National Football League under conditional circumstances. The fourth year player had been suspended since 2016 due to multiple violations but has now been given the greenlight by the league to rejoin the team.
GM Colbert looks toward the future for Bryant
Bryant had been suspended by the NFL since March 2016 without pay following multiple violations of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Now with his reinstatement, the wide receiver may join up with his teammates at the training facility and join their meetings, conditioning work and so forth. Bryant is also set to participate in all preseason programs once his rehabilitation facilities have been in confirmed in Pittsburgh. Bryant will also be scheduled to evaluated later in the regular season and if he passes, will be reinstated fully by the NFL.
Steelers' General Manager, Kevin Colbert gave a short statement to the team's official website regarding the the league's decision to reinstate Bryant. Colbert said that Bryant had "taken the necessary steps in an effort to get his personal life in order" and that the organization appreciated his efforts in doing so. Colbert went on to add that the team understood that this was only the start for Bryant as he prepares to return to the team but they were all looking forward to working with Bryant to "ensure that he is mentally and physically prepared to contribute" to the team on the field while also keeping a good balance off the field in his personal life.
Bryant's career thus far is a story of unfulfilled potential
Martavis Bryant was selected by the Steelers as the 118th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and was then signed on to a four year contract with the team. Due to various injuries and substance abuse violations, Bryant has only featured 21 times for the Steelers, picking up 15 touchdowns and 76 receptions.
Bryant's frame and ability with his hands make him a difficult proposition for most corners in the NFL and it earned him the title of Rookie of the Year in 2014 for Pittsburgh. He also proved his exceptional talent with a fantastic catch against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2015 AFC Wildcard game which helped the Steelers move on to the AFC Championship game that year. If Bryant can move past his substance abuse issues, he could become a great weapon for the Steelers' offense which already included the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers will be hoping that Bryant is now in the position in his life to do so.
Quotes via Steelers.com