Martavis Bryant Out vs. Lions; Demoted to Steelers Scout Team

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22:  Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Martavis Bryant hasn't had the role he wanted this year, and things are only getting worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver. 

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Bryant was demoted to the scout team Wednesday. Bryant said head coach Mike Tomlin told him he will not play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Justin Hunter took over Bryant's role in practice.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported his demotion is due to "social media incidents." He was caught bad-mouthing rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on a since-deleted Instagram post Sunday (via Bouchette).

"Juju is no where near better than me fool," Bryant wrote in a reply to a poster.

"If I'm not traded I'm going to work my butt off here, and whatever happens happens," Bryant then said Wednesday, per Fowler. "You're not going to hear me complaining no more. I'm just going to be quiet and let everything fall into place."

Bryant, who was suspended throughout all of last season, has not been happy about how this year has played out. While he ranks second on the team with 234 receiving yards through seven games behind only Antonio Brown, he has lost out on snaps and opportunities to Smith-Schuster.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reported the 25-year-old met with coaches ahead of Week 5 and asked to be more involved in the offense. He then told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he is "not going to re-sign" when his contract ends after 2018 if he is not traded. 

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While Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported he would see a bigger role in the offense Sunday, Bryant ended up with just one catch for three yards while Smith-Schuster scored his third touchdown of the year. 

To make matters worse, he didn't show up for a required meeting Monday, per Bouchette

Per ESPN, head coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers wouldn't trade Bryant, but the team's latest actions might indicate a change in strategy.

The 2014 fourth-round pick showcased his talent in his first two seasons with 15 total touchdowns in just 21 games along with an average of 17.3 yards per reception. However, things haven't gone anywhere near as well this season.

With Smith-Schuster in the concussion protocol, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com, the Steelers could be thin at receiver for Sunday's game against the Lions.

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