Art Rooney Comments on Martavis Bryant Suspension

Joe PantornoFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers president and co-owner Art Rooney II watches warm ups before an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

A week after the NFL suspended Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant for a minimum of one season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, team president Art Rooney II spoke with Mark Kaboly of about the troubled player while offering his support:

It is very disappointing. At the same time, we hope, to the extent where it is allowable, we will try to get him help, make sure he gets rehab and those kinds of things, but it is a disappointing situation to say the least.

This is the second time in the past year that Bryant has been suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He was forced to sit out the first four games of the 2015 season. 

In his first two seasons, Bryant showed he's a capable deep threat with plenty of speed and athleticism. The problem has been his inability to stay on the field, as he's missed 11 games due to injury and suspension.

Bryant's agent, Brian Fettner, told Tom Pelissero of USA Today that these problems might stem from his battle with depression, which he's undergoing evaluation for.

He reportedly originally planned to appeal the league's decision to suspend him but decided to drop it.

"There is not much to say other than we're disappointed and hope that he can deal with the situation and have the discipline that is necessary to be a player in the National Football League," Rooney said. 

Regardless of the troubles, Rooney told Kaboly that the team will "stick by Bryant unless there are other developments."

Per Kaboly, Bryant can apply for reinstatement on Jan. 13, 2017, when he will have to prove to the Steelers and Rooney that he is clean, healthy and can contribute to the team after a year away from the NFL.