On Thursday, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a short statement on wide receiver Martavis Bryant and in it he indicated that while the former fourth-round draft pick is still in the process of being fully reinstated by the NFL, he hasn’t been cleared by the league to start practicing during training camp just yet. As expected, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Bryant’s current status during his Thursday press conference.
Tomlin was first asked if he has any expectations on the league’s process when it comes to the handling of Bryant.
“I don’t know,” Tomlin said. “The league’s in charge of that and what we’re going to continue to do is cooperate fully as we have and wait for them to instruct us what to do next.”
Tomlin was then asked if Bryant’s delay was unexpected.
“It’s not,” said Tomlin. “It’s something that we have to deal with and we will and we’ll do it it in an appropriate way.”
Tomlin was then asked if he knew back in April that Bryant wasn’t going to be able to practice at the start of training camp.
“I knew there was a possibility of it, because there were some conditions based on his reinstatement and they’ve been really consistent in that regard,” Tomlin said. “And Martavis and we all have been working extremely hard to adhere to it.”
So, is this all just procedural and just part of the overall process, or is there something that Bryant’s failed to do on his end that has led to this?
“It’s procedural,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin was later told by a reporter that Bryant’s camp has now said that the wide receiver will be ready to start practicing within a week.
“I’m not going to speculate,” Tomlin said. “That decision, from a time table standpoint, is outside my control. I’ll let the guys in New York do what they do.”
Even though Bryant will obviously miss some practice time at the start of training camp, Tomlin said Thursday that he isn’t concerned about it setting the wide receiver behind.
Are you still confused about all of this? If so, you’re probably not alone. It’s easy to speculate that Bryant may have failed to get something done on his end that has led to him not being allowed to start practicing right away. After all, he was allowed to practice during the team’s offseason program.
Regardless as to whether or not Bryant caused this delay, it doesn’t sound like Tomlin is too worried about the wide receiver’s immediate future. Additionally, it sounds like Bryant’s camp expects everything to be taken care of within a week. We’ll see.