Ben Roethlisberger continues to profess faith in Martavis Bryant
Ben Roethlisberger on Tuesday expressed confidence that Martavis Bryant can return to being a key cog in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, even after a tumultuous couple of weeks.
Bryant, disgruntled over his diminishing role in the offense, was summarily benched by Mike Tomlin for Pittsburgh’s Oct. 29 game against the Detroit Lions. The deactivation was punishment for igniting a firestorm by denigrating teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster on Instagram and then essentially demanding a trade if things didn’t change.
Bryant, with the Steelers enjoying a bye in Week 9, has since tried to say all the right things and it appears he can count on his quarterback for continued support.
“Yeah, I thought he had a good practice yesterday,” Roethlisberger said of Bryant on his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “[He] was out there running around, making plays, looking fast. Like I’ve always said before, I didn’t think his attitude was bad on the field so I didn’t notice anything other than normal Martavis. And I’m sure he’s excited for the second half of the season as much as I am and we are for him.”
Roethlisberger also indicated Bryant practiced with the first team offense during Monday’s practice.
Bryant has seen himself supplanted in the Steelers’ wide receiver pecking order by Smith-Schuster. Roethlisberger nevertheless believes Bryant’s role will continue to be the same one in which the wide receiver began his rise to superstar status before a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy left him suspended for the entire 2016 season.
As noted, Roethlisberger time and time again has gone to bat for Bryant in recent weeks (here and here and here), and the ongoing support from an unquestioned team leader obviously speaks volumes. And with Tomlin indicating Bryant will see the field Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, it appears the team is willing to give the enigmatic wide receiver yet another chance.