The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: How soon might we see Martavis Bryant back on the practice field?
The Steelers have no gone through four practice sessions during their 2017 training camp schedule, none of which wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who is still in the process of being fully reinstated from a 2016 indefinite suspension that was conditionally lifted in April, has participated in.
The reason for that is, of course, it is mandated as part of the process of full reinstatement. Players who receive indefinite suspensions followed by conditional reinstatement are not allowed to participate in preseason games or practices until they receive full reinstatement, and Bryant has yet to reach that point.
Although he did say yesterday that he is “close” to returning, and we did see him on the field during practice yesterday working off to the side on his own. He also spent time after practice having a conversation with Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert.
While he is unable to join his teammates on the field or in stadiums, Bryant is not restricted otherwise, and has been in the weight room, the film room, and the meeting room with his peers throughout this process, it should be noted.
So the question that we are now presented with is this: how close is “close”? When can we actually expect Bryant to get back out on the practice field—that is, when will the third-year wide receiver be fully reinstated from the suspension that held him out of the entirety of the 2016 season?