Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant was conditionally reinstated earlier this year. But he still hasn’t satisfied the conditions necessary to trigger his reinstatement for training camp.
As announced by the NFL in April, Bryant will be allowed to participate in training camp practices and preseason games provided that he demonstrates before camp that he has made arrangements to continue drug treatment in Pittsburgh. The fact that he still hasn’t been cleared to participate in training camp practices implies that he has yet to make suitable arrangements to continue drug treatment in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers apparently disagree. In a Tuesday online chat, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote this: “I don’t think some people in the Steelers organization are happy with the NFL for dragging their feet over the delay in reinstating Bryant fully. They believe he’s done everything they’ve asked.”
Bouchette tweeted a similar sentiment on Wednesday: “Ben [Roethlisberger] questions why NFL is taking so long to fully reinstate Steelers WR Martavis Bryant. Says he has done all asked of him.”
It’s not the first time the NFL has delayed making a decision regarding a reinstatement under the substance-abuse policy. With no clear deadlines that require decisions to be made by any specific date, the league can take as much time as it wants, without consequence.
The league also is privy to information that others aren’t. In past cases, apparent delays eventually have become a denial of the petition to be reinstated.
In other words, no news has become bad news in the past for other players. With Bryant, there’s currently no news, which also could eventually become bad news. Until then, the bad news is that he’s getting no work in advance of his potential return to football after missing all of 2016.