Steelers WR Bryant says he’ll be benched against Lions
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to trade Martavis Bryant. They also apparently don’t have any plans to play him either. At least not in Detroit.
Bryant indicated he’ll be inactive when the first-place Steelers visit the Lions on Sunday night, the fallout from a social media outburst in which the wide receiver made it clear he’s unhappy with his role in the offense.
“I’m fine,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I ain’t tripping.”
Passionately defiant at times, Bryant insisted he meant no ill will when he suggested he was better than rookie teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster during an Instagram comment shortly after Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati last weekend. Bryant deleted his initial response and replaced it with one in which he wrote he wanted to be on a team where he could “gets mine.”
Given a few days to cool off, Bryant instead doubled down, even though coach Mike Tomlin called Bryant’s comments “out of bounds.”
“I feel like I’m better than every receiver or any receiver I played with,” Bryant said. “For (JuJu), he feels the same way. (Antonio Brown) feels the same way. Justin Hunter feels the same way. Everybody feel the same way.”
Bryant, tied for third on the team with 18 receptions through seven games in his return from a year-plus suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, stressed he believes he’s a “great teammate.” Several Steelers surrounded Bryant’s locker when he began to address a gaggle of media for the second time in as many weeks, though they quickly broke up.
Maybe because the spectacle is becoming a bit too commonplace.
A day after a dominant road victory in Kansas City on Oct. 15, he downplayed reports he wanted to be traded, reports that surfaced as the team was flying back to Pittsburgh that he wanted out. This time around, he didn’t dismiss the idea of being sent elsewhere before next Tuesday’s deadline. If anything, he welcomed it, even though Tomlin stressed Bryant isn’t on the market.
“If I’m not traded, I’m going to work my butt off here and whatever happens, happens,” he said. “You’re not going to hear me complain or nothing no more, I’m just going to be quiet and let everything fall in place.”
Bryant declined to get into specifics about why he’s so frustrated, saying repeatedly he simply needs to learn from it and move on.
“I don’t have no beef with nobody in here,” he said. “I love everybody in here. I work hard with everybody in here.”