When news broke of Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant being suspended four games to start the 2015 regular season, it wasn't breaking news to the Steelers organization. The team reportedly had planned for his suspension in a multitude of ways, the most obvious being their trust in the progression of Darrius Heyward-Bey and his capability to make plays in Bryant's stead.
The Steelers have come out of the gate with a 1-1 start and, despite the noticed absence of Bryant on the field, it was something off of the field which got fans' attention. When the Steelers had their team photos taken last Saturday, Bryant was nowhere to be found, even though running back Le'Veon Bell, who was serving the last game of his two-game suspension, was in attendance. This raised some eyebrows as to Bryant's whereabouts during his suspension.
Big Ben: The indispensable Steeler
While Steelers receivers continue to rack up impressive stats, let's not forget about the trigger man who makes it all look so easy.
Tuesday, after Mike Tomlin made some very vague comments regarding Bryant's current location, reports started circulating about the second-year wideout spending his time away from the team in a treatment facility.
Steelers actually should be applauded for getting Martavis Bryant help, as in treatment. That is why he has not been at their facility.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 22, 2015
Read between lines on Mike Tomlin's comment on Martavis Bryant: "Rest assured we are doing what is appropriate under the circumstance."— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 22, 2015
This news of Bryant seeking professional help should come as great news not only for Bryant the football player, but also Bryant the human being. For Bryant to receive a 4-game suspension for violating the NFL's newest substance-abuse policy, he would have had to fail three drug tests prior to the 4-game ban. Such a fact tends to send a message that there's a problem.
Kudos to the Steelers for taking the proper steps in helping a young man hopefully find his way, and for avoiding a hasty decision which might impair his future in many ways. Fortunately, Bryant's treatment won't hinder his return to the team in Week 5 when the Steelers take on the San Diego Chargers in a road game on Monday Night Football.