Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant cleared to practice with teammates
Two weeks into training camp, Martavis Bryant finally has been cleared to join his teammates for practices and games.
The Steelers receiver on Wednesday was cleared of another hurdle by the NFL in his return from a yearlong suspension for violating the league's policy on substance abuse. Bryant, who was suspended in March 2016 and conditionally reinstated this spring, missed the Steelers' first 11 training camp practices.
The Steelers released a statement attributed to general manager Kevin Colbert on Wednesday evening:
“Martavis Bryant has been informed by the NFL that he is now permitted to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games. He will continue to be evaluated as to his readiness to participate in regular-season activities under the terms of his conditional reinstatement.”
After a travel day Thursday, the Steelers open their preseason schedule Friday night at the New York Giants. While it is unlikely Bryant will play in that game because he has yet to take practice reps with the Steelers, his 2017 camp practice debut for the Steelers figures to come at 2:55 p.m. Sunday at St. Vincent.
Bryant has been limited to working out on his own on an adjacent field to his teammates throughout camp. He's at times joined coaches on the field to watch practice and interact with teammates. On Wednesday, Bryant joined the injured Sammie Coates as receivers catching passes and running routes for about an hour on the second of three practice fields at St. Vincent.
Coach Mike Tomlin repeatedly has said he had no update on Bryant's status.
On Friday for the annual night practice at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium, Bryant donned full pads and appeared as if he intended to practice before Colbert stopped him as he was walking to the field.
Five days later, official word finally came.
Bryant has 17 touchdowns in 24 career NFL games counting the postseason. He has not played since having nine catches for 154 yards — including a 52-yard reception — in a divisional-round playoff loss at eventual Super Bowl champion Denver in January 2016.