Ex-Steelers WR Martavis Bryant Formally Applies for NFL Reinstatement

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 28-20. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant is reportedly seeking an NFL comeback. 

On Monday, Dan Graziano of ESPN reported the Clemson product applied to the league for reinstatement. Graziano explained "Bryant has been working with the NFL and NFLPA on steps he needs to take to address his mental health issues with resources such as therapists and ADHD treatments."

The league suspended Bryant indefinitely in December after he violated the terms of his conditional reinstatement from a previous punishment. 

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provided additional context to the comeback efforts, noting Bryant had planned to apply for reinstatement in May but used the additional time to "improve himself" and be available for testing.

Graziano reported on Bryant’s comeback plans in May, pointing out he was suspended three times in four years for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. The latest indefinite suspension followed a lengthy appeal in which Bryant argued the league’s drug policy does not provide the proper support for mental health issues.

According to Graziano, Bryant was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. The May report cited sources who said Bryant’s side argued during the appeal the NFL denied him access to proper treatment for his mental health.

That makes Monday’s news that Bryant has worked with the league to set up treatments and meetings with therapists all the more notable as he seeks a return to the field.

Bryant entered the league in 2014 when the Steelers selected him in the fourth round out of Clemson, and he flashed his potential with 549 receiving yards as a rookie, 765 in his second season and 603 in his third.

He appeared in just eight games for the Raiders in 2018 and finished with 19 catches for 266 yards and zero touchdowns, which were all career-low marks.

Still, Bryant is just 27 years old and has the height at 6’4" to beat defenders on fade routes and jump balls. He will surely generate interest from teams in need of pass-catching help if he is reinstated.

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