Martavis Bryant Cleared to Join Steelers and Participate in Preseason

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant is permitted to rejoin the team for preseason games following his suspension, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

"Martavis Bryant has been informed by the NFL that he is now permitted to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games," general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement on the team's site. "He will continue to be evaluated as to his readiness to participate in regular-season activities under the terms of his conditional reinstatement."

Bryant was suspended during the entire 2016 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, his second offense in his career.

He was conditionally reinstated by the league in April, but each step requires a new confirmation by the NFL. Earlier in the day, head coach Mike Tomlin had "no idea" when he would be allowed to practice, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but Wednesday's news means he can at least join the team for current activities.

The Steelers kick off their preseason with a matchup against the New York Giants on Friday, Aug. 11.

When he's in the lineup, the 2014 fourth-round pick has shown he can be a game-changing talent. The 6'4" receiver finished his rookie year with 549 receiving yards and eight touchdowns before following it up with 765 yards and six touchdowns in just 11 games in 2015.

The Steelers struggled to find a consistent No. 2 option behind Antonio Brown last year, although Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates and Cobi Hamilton each showed flashes of potential. Even with the addition of second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bryant appears ready to play a major role in Pittsburgh this season as long as he is eligible.