Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant returned to the practice field on Sunday for the first time in two seasons. He has only been conditionally reinstated by the league, but that much allows him to get out and practice with a Steelers unit that is hoping they’ll have his services come Week 1 of the regular season.
“I’m working on getting ready — I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said Bryant to reporters. “When the time comes, I’ll be ready to go … It’s been a long time. I’m just happy to be out here with my brothers.”
Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 season for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. He previously had been suspended for the first four games of 2015, leaving the 11 games he played in that season as his career-high.
Pittsburgh first drafted Bryant in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Clemson, after he chose to forgo his senior season. He was a touchdown magnet as a rookie, hauling in eight touchdown passes over his 26 receptions in just 10 games.
When it comes to returning to the gridiron as a member of the Steelers and whether or not the fan base holds his suspension against him, Bryant said:
“I’m out here to get better with my teammates and play football — outside of that, I’m not worried about it.”
The Steelers will open the 2017 regular season on the road on Sept. 10 against the Cleveland Browns whether or not Bryant has been reinstated or not.