Martavis Bryant has been a thorn in the Steelers’ side for several weeks now and it appears head coach Mike Tomlin has finally had enough. On Wednesday, Bryant told reporters that he will be inactive for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions:
Martavis Bryant said he's not playing Sunday. Asked why? 'Social media," he said. https://t.co/zWdJY92dZs— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 25, 2017
The “social media” he is referring to is his now deleted Instagram comment that said he was a better receiver than his teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster and he would thrive once the Steelers gave him what he wanted—presumably more playing time and targets.
This was just one of a series of incidents, including multiple reports of Bryant seeking a trade from the Steelers.
Tomlin reaffirmed on Wednesday that the team is not interested in trading Bryant, but did say earlier in the week that he had plans on dealing with Bryant’s conduct:
Tomlin: Martavis has "done a lot" in improving but has a way to go. "He was out of bounds in what he said . . . it will be dealt with"— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 24, 2017
Assuming Tomlin keeps his word and sits Bryant on Sunday, the Steelers will be without their second-best receiver. Bryant has 18 catches for 234 yards and a touchdown in seven games. However, the Steelers seem to be looking elsewhere as of late. Bryant only has three catches for 30 yards in his past two game, while rookie Smith-Schuster has six catches, for 71 yards and a touchdown over those same two contests.
Smith-Schuster is currently in concussion protocol, but he practiced without limitations on Wednesday, indicating he may be ready to play against the Lions.