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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant officially applies for reinstatement

The speculation is over, Martavis Bryant has officially applied for reinstatement to the NFL, but what happens next?

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

During the Pittsburgh Steelers postseason push, news spread of suspended players being able to file for reinstatement back into the NFL. Several players went through the process, but wide receiver Martavis Bryant wasn’t one of them.

His agent, Tom Santanello, stated his client would be filing for reinstatement, but hasn’t yet, despite reports from the NFL Network and NFL.com. Well, Saturday marked the day when Bryant officially filed for reinstatement to the NFL.

So, what is next for Bryant? Some might think commissioner Roger Goodell then gives the thumbs up, or thumbs down, on his return, but there are a lot of hoops a player has to jump through before being reinstated.

First, per NFL policy, information on the player's treatment, abstinence from substance use, incidents involving substance use and any arrests of convictions. On top of that, the player has to sign medical release forms allowing members of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's staff to examine his treatment history and submit to urine tests however often the appointed league and players union-appointed medical advisor determines.

So what is the timeline for Bryant? Jacob Klinger of Pennlive.com has the full layout:

March 13 Bryant is set to be interviewed by the league and NFL Players Association-appointed medical advisor and medical director no later than this date. After the interview, the advisor and director will send a recommendation on reinstating Bryant or not to Goodell.

March 28 Goodell must decide on Bryant's application no later than this date.

Bryant has to meet with Goodell and agree to whatever terms of reinstatement the commissioner imposes, if he wants to play again.

April 17 The Steelers, and any other team without a first-year head coach, can begin voluntary offseason workouts.

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It has been a long year for Martavis Bryant and the Steelers, and his absence was noticeable. Although his return is still far away, fans can be hopeful of his potential return to doing things like this on the field.