Martavis Bryant is working his way out of the doghouse, one step at a time.
According to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bryant was back working with the first offense when the Steelers returned from their bye week. Whether he stays there this week against the Colts remains to be seen, but it could be a clean slate for the wide receiver who created his own issues in recent weeks.
After social media posts hinting at wanting out of Pittsburgh to eventually actually saying it, the Steelers deactivated him in their last game, and replacement JuJu Smith-Schuster had a 193-yard night in his absence.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be out there,” Bryant said. “It’s a long week. It’s only Monday. I’ll come back in here Wednesday, get the game plan and go from there.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was willing to joke with Bryant in the locker room about all the attention he was getting, but wasn’t making any promises about his role. Asked whether he was confident Bryant could contribute in the second half, Tomlin replied: “I’m not. We’ll see.”
Bryant took a more optimistic view.
“That ain’t my business to worry about what someone else says,” the receiver said. “Even though he’s the coach, I still have to go out and prepare and show him what I’m capable of. You have to pull yourself along. I wasn’t down on myself at all about what he said. . . .
“We’ve got a long season to go, still. I have to finish, work hard and make the best of all situations and go from there.”
The Steelers would love to have Bryant around and engaged, because he has shown he can help. But he also missed a year with a drug suspension, so they’re hedging their bets by using a second-round pick on Smith-Schuster, and waiting to see how Bryant responds.