The wait is finally over. The Steelers suspended wide receiver was conditionally suspended this spring but was still forced to sit out of preseason activities. Today, the Steelers got the official word that Bryant is cleared to join the team for training camp, preseason practices, and preseason games.
Martavis Bryant officially cleared to participate in preseason
Statement by #Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert on Martavis Bryant.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 9, 2017
The situation surrounding Bryant was curious, to say the least. However, the team remained in good hopes and even expressed optimism that the word would come in before the first preseason game. It looks as though their beliefs held true, as Bryant should be on the practice field Thursday, the day before the Steelers take the field against the New York Giants in week one of the preseason.
The real question will be whether or not Bryant plays in the first preseason. The likely answer is no. Bryant has not had any practice snaps, and other players have earned the right to participate due to the work that they put in during training camp. It would be unfair for Bryant not to put in any of the game planning and work beforehand and find himself taking snaps planned for other players.
The Latest: Packers release troubled, DT, Letroy Guion
What’s Trending: Jets’ DE, Sheldon Richardson, takes shots at Brandon Marshall
Looking Ahead: Patriots’ offense set up well for QB transition after 2018
Game Preview: Preseason Week 1: Bears vs Broncos game preview
On top of that, how much of Bryant do the Steelers need to see? Ben Roethlisberger is not playing, and the team has watched first hand what Bryant can do on the field. He may not even play in the second preseason game if the team is satisfied with what they see in the next practices following the first game.
Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 season but was on the path to stardom after his first two seasons in the NFL. Bryant started in just eight games and was active for 21. He has 15 touchdowns. Bryant is a game breaker and a complete mismatch on paper when lining up to Antonio Brown. The team has Brown, Bryant and Le’Veon Bell on the field with Ben Roethlisberger for less than one game, and now three of the four major offensive weapons are in camp together. The hope is that Bell can join the crew in the next week or two.