Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant will soon be reinstated. Unless he isn’t.
In response to multiple reports that Bryant’s reinstatement is imminent, the league office told the Beaver County Times that there is no “update or timeline” regarding Bryant’s return to the NFL.
That’s the standard position as to any potential return by any player who has been banished from the league under the substance-abuse policy, with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after a year. And that’s because when it comes to reinstatement, the rules are there ain’t no rules.
As learned via the Aldon Smith reinstatement effort, the rules imply that a 60-day deadline applies for ruling on a reinstatement request. In reality, there’s no deadline. And there’s no standard that applies to the Commissioner, who determines in his sole discretion whether to reinstate the player.
So Bryant will be reinstated exactly when he’s reinstated. And the closer he gets to reinstatement, the greater the chance that something will happen to derail the effort — like it has both with Smith and Josh Gordon.