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Martavis Bryant expected to check into rehab

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09:  Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburg Steelers runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Benglas at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant is facing a suspension from the NFL for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy after serving a four-game suspension last year, which his agent Brian Fettner says stems from multiple missed drug tests.

Fettner also said that his client plans to appeal the ban, although it doesn’t sound like there’s much hope that he’s going to prevail on that front. If it does stand, Bryant will have to wait a year before applying for reinstatement and Fettner says Bryant will be spending some of that time in a rehab facility.

“We’re all stunned, me included,” Fettner said to USA Today. “We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it. … This is a long road to earn people’s trust back, but honestly, we can’t even worry about that right now. You’ve got to get him healthy.”

If Bryant doesn’t get healthy, discussing what’s next for him in football is moot because he’s put himself in a situation where he won’t have a future in the league.

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62 Responses to “Martavis Bryant expected to check into rehab”
  1. imgoingtoffffoldgator says: Mar 13, 2016 7:49 AM

    Hope for the best

  2. imgoingtoffffoldgator says: Mar 13, 2016 7:55 AM

    Hope for the best and

  3. selfpromotingqb says: Mar 13, 2016 7:56 AM

    Looks like HGH is more acceptable than weed

  4. clashpoint says: Mar 13, 2016 8:09 AM

    This is what I’ve heard, that he has depression issues and uses weed as a coping mechanism. I think if you took a poll of stoners they’d probably tell you how much better their mood improves after they get baked. He has much bigger problems than football going on right now though and he’ll need to take care of them first. Good luck to him.

    Go Steelers!

  5. whenwilliteverend says: Mar 13, 2016 8:13 AM

    I don’t understand these guys who have just come off a suspension getting suspended again. It’s not very bright. Rehab isn’t going to fix stoopid.

  6. patsfan says: Mar 13, 2016 8:14 AM

    Here’s hoping he gets it together.

  7. zoxitic says: Mar 13, 2016 8:26 AM

    Say hi to Justin Blackmon for me.

  8. key2heat says: Mar 13, 2016 8:31 AM

    But marijuana isn’t addictive. Looks like this guy was addicted.

  9. barrymichaels61 says: Mar 13, 2016 8:43 AM

    Rehab, it’s a steelers tradition.

  10. spotsdad says: Mar 13, 2016 9:13 AM

    I feel bad about his depression, but he still used illegal substances. One doesn’t forgive the other. In fact , one might cause the other.

  11. shogunassasin30 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:16 AM

    Ah. Thee ol check in to rehab PR move that celebrities make. Buying sympathy is smart!

  12. nflfollower says: Mar 13, 2016 9:24 AM

    Best move he can make at this point. Personally and professionally. Any agent at this point is basically trying to drag his client into rehab.

  13. keylimelight says: Mar 13, 2016 9:25 AM

    His agent is doing a great job portraying Martavis as one deserving sympathy rather than scorn.

    “It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it. ”

    This is totally believable.

    Either way, if the substance is just pot no biggie. Alcohol, worse than pot, will be harder to let go of.

    Being forced to sit out of the sport you love and that pays you well must be a tough lesson–but great motivator. Good luck to him.

  14. saints12013 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:27 AM

    All I know is that you don’t go to rehab for Marijuana. Bryant has to be addicted to another type of drug.

    Hopefully the kid gets it straightened out cause he’s a very good talent and I’m sure he has family and friends that care about him immensely.

  15. nouhoh64 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:36 AM

    I’m sure there are some players that legitimately can’t handle the pressures of the NFL. Depression is a real issue but not to the uneducated. I wouldn’t make excuses for him but some people choose to self medicate instead of seeking professional help.
    In some circles, admitting a mood disorder is seen as being weak or weak minded. I hope the young man makes his mind over to take the first step and gets the help he needs to save his life. He can address football later.

  16. ejmam1 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:52 AM

    Damage control. Never heard of anyone famous or not that used weed as a coping mechanism. This is total spin by the Steelers.

  17. djstat says: Mar 13, 2016 10:55 AM

    Ironic it takes failed tests and a suspension for Bryant and his camp to identify his “illness”. Not buying it

  18. dadindebt6 says: Mar 13, 2016 10:58 AM

    ejmam1 says:
    Mar 13, 2016 9:52 AM

    Damage control. Never heard of anyone famous or not that used weed as a coping mechanism. This is total spin by the Steelers.
    ——————————————————–
    How is this spin by the Steelers. It is the player’s agent who is doing all the talking, not a Steelers’ spokesman!

  19. 700levelvet says: Mar 13, 2016 11:04 AM

    Agents/Lawyers are paid to lie…Hasn’t this guy already been to the Lucas rehabapoollzza? And his agent is stunned? What a perceptive professional he seems to be..

  20. witchrunner says: Mar 13, 2016 11:12 AM

    It sounds like the suspension is a minor issue. It’ll take him at least a year to straighten up anyway, so why appeal it? Well, I suppose if you are the agent and you get a percent of his salary, then that would be a good reason for the agent to appeal, even if it doesn’t help his client.

  21. jucam1 says: Mar 13, 2016 11:21 AM

    I’m not saying that he doesn’t have additional drug issues. However, if they are telling the truth,and his issue is depression that he self regulates with Marijuana and that is the root of his issues, then this is yet another case of a dumb backward system that somehow is cool with alcohol but yet ignores all of the medicinal, therapeutic, and balancing effects of Marijuana. In 50 years when we’ve finally federally legalized and regulated use of this plant, we’re gonna look back and realize how insane this war against this medicinal cash crop is.

  22. scrotiemcb says: Mar 13, 2016 11:37 AM

    I’m just glad the NFL has its priorities straight. Nothing cheapens that moment when Vontez Burfict tries to cripple a guy more than the stinking realization that one of the guys on the field might be a reefer smoker.

  23. arktikman says: Mar 13, 2016 11:39 AM

    I don’t like people that throw out the word depression so flippantly. If you have clinical depression then you need help. If he does indeed have depression then I do feel sorry for the guy and I hope he gets it treated. If he is just feeling bad and needs marijuana to feel better then tough luck. Grow up.

    Not really our business of his medical issues. I just hope he figures things out.

  24. ejmam1 says: Mar 13, 2016 12:07 PM

    The only team in the NFL that Snoop Dogg has an actual influence on. Sounds the the blue collar Steelers are now the West Coast gangstas. Shame.

  25. whenwilliteverend says: Mar 13, 2016 12:09 PM

    Maybe he should have gone to rehab during the suspension last year because he obviously didn’t learn from it. I’m not buying the lawyer’s excuse. Since when did they ever tell the truth. They get paid to lie and make excuses for their client.

  26. abninf says: Mar 13, 2016 12:15 PM

    saints12013 says:

    All I know is that you don’t go to rehab for Marijuana.
    ======================================

    Tell that to the Honey Badger. And for all we know this guy is a crackhead. They all say they get busted for pot because they know the league won’t disclose the substance and they know they’ll get sympathy.

  27. thenewyorker718 says: Mar 13, 2016 12:26 PM

    Rehab for weeeeed? *Stephen A. Voice* what is wrong with some of these players . Weed isn’t addictive! Why can’t you stop if it’s gonna cost you millions? I stopped just so I can make an extra 5 bucks on the hour at a better paying job .

  28. kevingreene160sacknoHOFclub says: Mar 13, 2016 12:26 PM

    Moral of the story: the NFL prefers that you numb your soul with the fine products from their sponsors.

    And the occasional “goodie bag” from team doctors.

  29. steelpenguin6687 says: Mar 13, 2016 12:56 PM

    Steelers fan here…I wish Martavis the best, but I hope the Steelers part ways with him. Obviously, he doesn’t get it. I don’t use it, but I thought one of the big selling points for legalization was that it was not addicting, and easy to put down?? If so, what is the need for rehab…

    Also, I don’t care if pot was/is legal or not…an Employer’s policy can dictate its non use as a condition of employment. For one thing, Employers can get insurance breaks and such by running a drug free workplace…

  30. rafterman1957 says: Mar 13, 2016 1:01 PM

    Moral of the story: the NFL prefers that you numb your soul with the fine products from their sponsors.

    And the occasional “goodie bag” from team doctors.

    ———————————————————————–
    AMEN

    The Oxy and Vicotin they hand out like candy is much better then weed!

    If the players had a real union the NFL wouldn’t be able to test for weed. It isn’t a performance enhancer after all.

  31. mmmpierogi says: Mar 13, 2016 1:04 PM

    spotsdad says:
    Mar 13, 2016 9:13 AM
    I feel bad about his depression, but he still used illegal substances. One doesn’t forgive the other.

    **************************************************************************

    What needs to be forgiven? If the guy smokes to manage depression and doesn’t do anything to address the actual underlying problem, it’s not hurting anyone but him in the long run. Guys in his position aren’t exactly interested in earning the forgiveness of spotsdad from PFT.

    Assuming Bryant actually is dealing with depression as his agent’s saying, just suspending him or putting him in drug counseling (as was done last year) won’t address the problem, so not a shocker this happened. He has a ton of talent and seems level-headed otherwise, so hopefully he gets straightened out.

  32. jag1959 says: Mar 13, 2016 1:22 PM

    “His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it…”

    Well done. True or not this is how you spin.

  33. tylawspick6 says: Mar 13, 2016 2:14 PM

    If the Pats have drafted this guy, ESPN would have trucks backed up to Gillette 24/7.

    But, since he’s a Steeler, he was a great draft pick.

    Gotcha.

  34. shaggytoodle says: Mar 13, 2016 2:38 PM

    clashpoint says:
    Mar 13, 2016 8:09 AM
    This is what I’ve heard, that he has depression issues and uses weed as a coping mechanism. I think if you took a poll of stoners they’d probably tell you how much better their mood improves after they get baked.

    _____________

    I think if you poll a bunch of Doctor’s they would tell you that marijuana has benefits to people with depression too.

  35. openfieldtackle says: Mar 13, 2016 2:43 PM

    This guy is just a moron. NFL players need to leave the hood behind them when they enter the league. Josh Gordan and Blackman with the drugs and what about guys going back and getting shot?

    Wait until you realize that the $450k salary is gone and the possibility of $5M + annually. Was smoking that joint now worth getting a job making 30k or so? Idiot!

  36. drunkraider says: Mar 13, 2016 3:03 PM

    unnamed sources close to the situation tell me that he uses weed for depression. and now that he is suspended he is really depressed and is going to need more weed.

    I guess being rich is depressing.

  37. Njdjp says: Mar 13, 2016 3:13 PM

    I am disenheartened by the number of posts either accusing his agent of spinning the rehab as an opportunity to work on his mental health as a negative thing or assuming it is all about the “fun” of partying. As one who has had her own struggles, addiction is all about mental health and the fun is long gone. He would rather check out than sit in his own skin and that is a terrible place to be. It does not benefit his lawyer at all to highlight mental health (a stigma) at the expense of addiction (we all have one in our families). Bryant is placing more than any of us will make at risk because he knows he needs help. I hope it is the right help (I ping-ponged between alcohol rehabs and mental wards for two years before I found a program that treated both as concurrent issues). I am not an NFL player, but I am a very intelligent Ivy-League educated lawyer, so I lost a lot hating myself during those years. I have figured it out and I really hope he has too.

  38. nyneal says: Mar 13, 2016 3:30 PM

    Njdjp says:
    Mar 13, 2016 3:13 PM
    I am disenheartened by the number of posts either accusing his agent of spinning the rehab as an opportunity to work on his mental health as a negative thing or assuming it is all about the “fun” of partying. As one who has had her own struggles, addiction is all about mental health and the fun is long gone. He would rather check out than sit in his own skin and that is a terrible place to be. It does not benefit his lawyer at all to highlight mental health (a stigma) at the expense of addiction (we all have one in our families). Bryant is placing more than any of us will make at risk because he knows he needs help. I hope it is the right help (I ping-ponged between alcohol rehabs and mental wards for two years before I found a program that treated both as concurrent issues). I am not an NFL player, but I am a very intelligent Ivy-League educated lawyer, so I lost a lot hating myself during those years. I have figured it out and I really hope he has too.
    _______________________________________

    Good luck to you and continued good health.
    I would add to what you said by saying I dislike it when former players turned analysts make excuses for these guys, as they so often do. Take Manziel, for instance. I saw one former player say no team should sign Manziel and that he needs to go away from football and get his life in order. He could not be more right.
    One thing, though. For many of these players who get caught doing drugs, it is about partying. They surround themselves with guys and women who are with them because of the money they make. Their ego is stroked so much, they think they are invincible.

  39. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Mar 13, 2016 3:37 PM

    I doubt the fans care much about this. I see little evidence that character plays any role in being a Steeler.

  40. Njdjp says: Mar 13, 2016 3:41 PM

    I think Manziel is definitely a maturity/invincibility issue, and rehab for him is cosmetic, but his agent is not trumpeting depression as his reason for being a buffoon. He is just doing his best to tamp the fire. I thank you for your kind words about my recovery, even though this is an anonymous board, saying you have a mental illness has a huge stigma. His agent did not go there lightly, nor without Bryant’s consent – I find it very brave.

  41. drunkraider says: Mar 13, 2016 4:02 PM

    the only mental illness here is stupidity

  42. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 13, 2016 4:04 PM

    If he’s anything like me, his depression problems started right after Toussaint fumbled in Denver.

  43. boogerhut says: Mar 13, 2016 4:08 PM

    “We’re all stunned, me included,” Fettner said to USA Today. “We clearly miscalculated the issue.

    Stop making excuses for him. It’s like Brady saying he wasn’t told that cheating could result in suspension. Man up to your problems if you want to solve them.

  44. crusty14 says: Mar 13, 2016 4:47 PM

    I never bought in to the I’m depressed argument…. That is until my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe depression and attempted suicide several times. It took a lot for me to understand, as our family life is pretty good, what the hell could she be depressed about?

    Well guess what, she was depressed, and it took months of counseling, hospital stays and various attempts to find the right meds, but now she has her life on the right path and finishing her first year of college. There were many times I didn’t think she would make it to 16, smoking weed, acting out, her sexuality, but she is much better now.

    Depression is no laughing matter, it’s an illness, just like diabetes, etc, and it needs to treated. Every case is different, don’t be so quick to judge

  45. shlort says: Mar 13, 2016 5:03 PM

    Dealing with depression by using drugs or alcohol is not too bright. Drugs and alcohol won’t solve your problem. If his depression has been brought on because he can’t stop using, he is going to be quite the project in rehab.

  46. ebdug says: Mar 13, 2016 5:32 PM

    The kid just needs a little guidance. Maybe R’Berger will take him under his wing.

  47. bunjy96 says: Mar 13, 2016 5:35 PM

    If weed is not addictive, why are NFL players throwing away millions getting suspended?

  48. crusty14 says: Mar 13, 2016 5:44 PM

    That’s the problem there schlort, when your in a state of depression the thought process is all messed up. While you and I , and most people, think drinking and doing drugs isn’t going to help the pr lem, a depressed person cant always reason like that, and they turn to those vices thinking its making them feel better, when in actuality it is masking the underlying issues and making things worse

  49. draculalambert says: Mar 13, 2016 6:41 PM

    Hope to see in 2 years again but Pittsburgh doesn’t need him to get a ring.

    Stay healthy and steelers win it all

  50. hahalolrofl says: Mar 13, 2016 6:56 PM

    Weed is a depressant. Doesn’t work well for depression.

  51. ampatsisahypocrite says: Mar 13, 2016 7:22 PM

    The fact he just skipped the tests is indicative more of depression than substance abuse. For those not familiar with this affliction, it robs you of your ability to cope and perform necessary tasks most people don’t think twice about.

    Here’s wishing him the best in his recovery.

  52. jgo304 says: Mar 13, 2016 8:30 PM

    Depression is usually an excuse for an addict.

    Fyi Bryants issues are deeper than weed, he also has a opiate addiction in the form of “lean, purple drank, syzurp”.

  53. legends52 says: Mar 13, 2016 8:37 PM

    Damn, it’s always a shame to see young and talented receivers go on yearly suspension for things like this

  54. bradyakagod says: Mar 13, 2016 9:29 PM

    For a pot addiction? Hasn’t this guy ever seen the movie half baked?

  55. realtruthteller100 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:56 PM

    imo he hsould be cheked into prison

  56. reba2016 says: Mar 13, 2016 10:00 PM

    I want to know what the league is going to do when this drug is legalized!! The NFL is in a world outside of our own. Ok, I feel better now. Having said that, I am a Steeler fan and hope the rehab will help. There are skeptics out there but each one that goes through rehab don’t all come out with the same result. “Johnny Football” now makes rehab a joke. Some people do get better! Except for those who don’t want to – like Johnny M. His “nickname”, which he invented himself (shock) is now the joke of the NFL.

  57. crosberger says: Mar 13, 2016 10:26 PM

    Lots of judgemental idiots out today.

  58. bubbahotepp says: Mar 13, 2016 10:33 PM

    Get well. You’re too talented and you have way too much upside to pass this up.

  59. podevil says: Mar 13, 2016 11:57 PM

    TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says:
    Mar 13, 2016 3:37 PM
    I doubt the fans care much about this. I see little evidence that character plays any role in being a Steeler.

    I see no evidence that character plays any role in being TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn. Same old crap and nothing to back it up.

  60. seancon008 says: Mar 14, 2016 6:43 AM

    just another example of someone who refuses to take responsibility….its never your fault…its always someone else. Its why it will continue to happen. Its the rule of every league he ever played in….school he went to and team he was drafted by…this was his choice….. Another cliche “million dollar” talent with a “10-cent” head. Didn’t even pay attention to the QB’s response when he took plays off…Ben beaming him in the back and his helmet with passes some of the times when when he wasn’t paying attention while also ignoring him completely other times. This was no surprise to the team, coaches or league. He will probably be out of the league in 3 years, off the Steelers once he fails the next one after being reinstated. Sad but true….

  61. The Real Cleveland Sticks Together says: Mar 14, 2016 7:57 AM

    Here’s the bottom line…
    Martavis, you have to be smarter, bro.

    You’re one of the best young up and coming wide outs in the league. You also play for one of the best organizations in the league. With one of the best quarterbacks in the league. And opposite of maybe the best wide receiver in the league.

    Although I am a fan of legalizing marijuana, there are rules you have to follow when you play in the NFL. You’re leaving millions of dollars on the table.

    But AB is definitely underpaid at this point. There is no doubt he is outplaying his current contract. I understand the Steelers outlook on not extending players with more than one year remaining (besides Big Benjamin), I would say Brown is more than deserving. And he doesn’t seem to be a knucklehead like MB.

    MB, I am a fan. Drafted you in the 7th rd in fantasy and held on until you came back from suspension. You are an absolute beast bro. Try to stay clean and you can get paid like Megatron.

  62. knockknockwhosthereowen says: Mar 14, 2016 10:00 AM

    I’m seriously curious, why is this being dealt with differently than the Santonio Holmes situation a couple years ago?

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