Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant went off on a teammate on social media Sunday night after the team’s home win over the Cincinnati Bengals and his frustration carried over some in a Monday interview with Josina Anderson of ESPN. On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that Bryant wasn’t going to be traded. However, Tomlin did give some indication that the wide receiver would receive some sort of discipline for his recent outburst on his Instagram account that included him saying hes a better player than rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“He was out of bounds with some of his actions in terms of what he said on social media. It will be dealt with appropriately so,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “That ball is in my court. I have not visited with him yet. To be quite honest with you yet because I’ve had bigger fish to fry.”
Tomlin didn’t stop there, however.
“I’ll visit with him [Bryant] at some point. When I do, I’ll rain down my judgement and we’ll move forward,” Tomlin said Tuesday of the situation with Bryant. “He is a good guy to work with in the building and has been. We’ve been very clear about this process about getting him re-acclimated to us. Not an easy one but he’s worked diligently. I like his approach but he said some things when he’s not around us that are somewhat of a distraction. I say somewhat because we are having to field questions regarding it. Not because it’s high on my damn agenda but because I am fielding questions. It is somewhat of a distraction so we’ll deal with it as such and move on with it. Again, that will be done a little bit later, let’s move on to Detroit.”
On Wednesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reported that Bryant was demoted to the scout team during practice and that the wide receiver said after practice was over that he won’t play Sunday night against the Detroit Lions. The wide receiver also reportedly said he was not fined by the team for his actions.
Martavis Bryant said he's not playing Sunday. Asked why? 'Social media," he said. https://t.co/zWdJY92dZs
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 25, 2017
After his Sunday night social media outburst, Bryant reportedly called in sick on Monday and Tomlin was asked Tuesday if his absence was excused.
“I think you guys had the correct information. He was at the doctors. So, if someone’s sick, you have the excuse,” Tomlin said.
With Bryant now set to be inactive Sunday night, fellow wide receiver Justin Hunter will likely dress in his place. Hunter has caught just two passes for 11 yards in the two games he’s played in this season.
#Steelers Poll: Do you agree with Mike Tomlin's decision to sit WR Martavis Bryant against the Lions?
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) October 25, 2017