The Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t have played Martavis Bryant on Sunday like nothing happened. It goes against what they purport themselves to be as an organization.
Bryant, who has been unproductive on the field and a headache the rest of the time, told Pittsburgh media that he was told he won’t play on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Bryant was with the scout team in practice on Wednesday, according to Fowler.
Perhaps the Steelers could change their minds by Sunday, but it seems unlikely. If Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ignored all the issues Bryant has caused the past couple weeks, he’d risk losing the locker room.
Bryant reportedly asked to be traded, complained about his role to the media following a Steelers win on Sunday, took a shot at rookie teammate Juju Smith-Schuster on Instagram and then didn’t show up to meetings Monday and said he was at the doctor.
It seems like the Instagram post was the breaking point. Bryant said “social media” is why he was being deactivated. When someone commented on Instagram that Smith-Schuster was better than Bryant, Bryant shot back “Juju is no where near better than me fool all they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and who ever else.”
At least Bryant was trying to say the right things on Wednesday.
Martavis Bryant: "If I’m not traded I’m going to work my butt off here, and whatever happens happens. You’re not going to hear me complaining no more. I’m just going to be quiet and let everything fall into place."
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 25, 2017
The Steelers had to do something. They’ve dealt with way more drama than usual, whether from Bryant or elsewhere. It’s a franchise that pushes the reputation that it handles itself with class and doesn’t abide distractions in the locker room. The Steelers put up with Bryant through his drug suspensions, now he’s repaying them by being a constant problem.
Maybe one week off will turn Bryant’s attitude around. If not, maybe the Steelers will work to separate themselves from him permanently.
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