Martavis Bryant’s emergence last season helped the Steelers become the league’s most productive offense, and over the last month Bryant has looked like he’s going to be a star.
But last week’s news that Bryant will start the 2015 season by serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy was not a surprise to the Steelers. Per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsbugh Post-Gazette, the Steelers knew of Bryant’s failed drug tests as far back as last spring.
The four-game suspension for Bryant suggests he’s been caught breaking the league’s policy more than once. If he fails another test, he’ll be suspended for 10 games.
As a bit of Bryant insurance, the Steelers took a big receiver in the third round of last spring’s draft, Sammie Coates, and the plan was for Coates to be brought along slowly the way Bryant was last year. Per Dulac, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes Coates did not come to camp in peak condition.
Bryant was inactive for the first six games last year before catching eight touchdown passes and averaging 21.2 yards per reception. The four-game suspension will cost him games against the Patriots, 49ers, Rams and Ravens.