A week after getting banished to the scout team, Martavis Bryant was back in his usual spot for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Monday practice. Per the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo, Bryant said he resumed playing with the first team.
“I’ve been running with the 1s today, so I assume I am,” Bryant said when asked if he will play this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Bryant was inactive for the Steelers game before the bye, benched by Mike Tomlin for repeated social media distractions. Following the win over the Lions, Tomlin said he was “not” confident Bryant will be able to help the team the rest of the season.
Bryant was asked his reaction to those comments today.
“It’s not my business to worry about what someone else says,” he told Fittipaldo. “You have to prove yourself to him. I wasn’t down on myself about what he said.”
Obviously, there isn’t much that needs to be repeated about Bryant’s saga. It’s been a frustrating year dating all the way back to training camp when the league dragged their feet about finally reinstating Bryant. It took until halfway through camp, compounding the issue of time missed and with very little time to get back on the train. With his struggles this season and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s impressive play, Bryant has had his snaps scaled back and his role in the offense diminished.
The Steelers will have to hope they bye calmed things down and reset Bryant for the remaining half of the season. He’s still a key part of the offense, capable of scoring on any given snap, and while there’s still been problems, he and Ben Roethlisberger have been closing on hooking up for a few big plays this year. Not all the issues on the field have been his fault.
In 2017, Bryant has just a lone reception of 40+ yards. In each of his other two years, he’s had five each. That big-play potential is still there. If Bryant can handle things right off the field, he’ll be much better for it come gameday.