Mike Tomlin won’t address Martavis Bryant situation until next week
The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared Martavis Bryant inactive for Sunday night’s game against the Detroit Lions as punishment for his conduct following last week’s game. And beyond that? Don’t ask Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers head coach on Friday was tight-lipped on Bryant, saying there would be no update on the wide receiver’s status until after Sunday’s game.
“I said all I was going to say on the subject at the press conference,” Tomlin said following Friday’s practice, via ESPN. “What I did was consistent with what I told you guys on Tuesday.”
Tomlin earlier this week criticized Bryant for “out of bounds” behavior following last Sunday’s 29-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Bryant called out teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster in a since-deleted comment on Instagram.
Bryant continued to be a major distraction for the Steelers beyond his social media outburst. Bryant, evidently upset over his diminishing role in the Steelers’ offense, skipped a team meeting Monday.
The disgruntled wide receiver then laid it all out on the line on Tuesday by saying in part, “If they don’t try to include me more and continue to do the same thing, then I want out period.”
Things have calmed down quite a bit in the ensuing days. Bryant, upon learning he was being benched against the Lions, played the role of good soldier, saying, “You’re not going to hear me complain” anymore.
Amid all the chaos this week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, an unquestioned team leader, stressed he was “not giving up” on Bryant. That appears to be a team-wide philosophy, as Antonio Brown on Friday echoed Big Ben’s sentiments.
“I think guys trust him,” Brown said. “I just think he’s got to earn his way back. Obviously, we need him. You know what he’s capable of. We’re going to need him down the stretch. He’s made a mistake. He’ll learn from it. He can be a reason we win. If we’re going to do what we desire to do, we need every guy in this locker room.”