Troubled wide receiver Martavis Bryant is treating Sunday’s pre-season row with the Atlanta Falcons very seriously. Typically, NFL stars with a secure roster spot view pre-season games like a boil on their proverbial behind.
Not so in this case.
Bryant was suspended in March 2016 for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The situation forced the Pittsburgh Steelers’ speedy playmaker to the shelf for the entire league year.
Now that he has an opportunity to ply, he’s ready to go with a few lessons learned under his belt. Bryant told the Associated Press that he just wants to work.
“I just want to get back to what I used to do,” Bryant said. “I’m not focused on going outside of what I do as far as running my routes, being a deep threat, running short routes. Just running, catching and having fun doing it.”
“I’m just happy to get back on the field in general,” Bryant said. “It’s been a whole year since I played football. I’m excited to get back out there and see what I can do.”
“I’m definitely more appreciative,” Bryant said. “It has taken a lot of hard work to get back into it. I definitely won’t take advantage of it anymore.”
There is one caveat in that Bryant has yet to be full reinstated by the NFL. He is permitted to participate in off-season and preseason activities.
But there is a dark cloud of instability that remains over his head. One never knows from one day to the next the mindset of the NFL commissioner’s office.
Here’s to the hope that the Steel City’s latest comeback story is not marred by another pothole.