The Pittsburgh Steelers by the end of the 2014 season believed they had struck gold when they used a fourth-round selection on wide receiver Martavis Bryant that year. Though he struggled to get the offensive system down, which in part led him to being inactive his first six games, he would record eight touchdown receptions from that point on.
He would go on to record 76 catches for 1314 yards and 14 touchdowns in 21 games over the course of his first two seasons in the league, plus another rushing touchdown and some big games in the postseason to boot.
But we know how that story played out, and he ended up being traded to the Oakland Raiders during the draft for a third-round pick, which turned into Mason Rudolph. The Raiders ended up releasing him, but later re-signed him, catching 16 passes for 249 yards, though without a touchdown, in seven games leading into yesterday’s game.
He left that game after adding three receptions for 17 yards, suffering a knee injury that is currently being reported as a possible torn PCL. If that is indeed the case, and depending upon the severity, that would put his Steelers reunion in jeopardy when Pittsburgh is scheduled to head to Oakland to face the Raiders in Week 14 on December 9.
I’m no expert on such injuries—or really any injuries—and that would be our own Melanie Friedlander’s jurisdiction anyway, but as Ian Rapoport reports on the injury, “either way, Bryant is going to miss some time”. Will it be enough time to prevent him from playing against the Steelers? At the moment, it’s entirely possible pending further information.
#Raiders WR Martavis Bryant suffered a possible PCL tear, source said. The hope is he doesn’t end up needing surgery, but he’s going to have an MRI to determine the severity. Either way, Bryant is going to miss time. Bad news.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2018
The Steelers were reportedly not in the market to trade Bryant, who was in the final year of his rookie deal and unlikely to be re-signed anyway, but the Raiders kept sweetening their offer enough to justify them pulling the trigger and making the trade.
That trade sealed JuJu Smith-Schuster’s status as a full-time starter in his second season, and while he has had some notable drops, he has been a very productive asset, recording 56 receptions on the season for 762 yards and three touchdowns, the third coming just on Sunday on a 75-yard strike on the first offensive play of the game. He is now averaging 13.6 yards per catch after that one.
Antonio Brown, meanwhile, has caught 57 passes for ‘only’ 690 yards, which at this point in his career is a low figure, but he is also on-pace to break his own team record for touchdown receptions in a season, already with 10 through nine games.
The Steelers used a second-round pick on Rudolph’s teammate, James Washington, who has yet to find any kind of rhythm in the offense. In eight games played, he has caught just seven passes for 66 yards and one touchdown on what was a busted play.