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Steelers WR Martavis Bryant Facing Four-Game Suspension For Multiple Failed Drug Tests

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

The preseason has not been kind to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Center Maurkice Pouncey, kicker Shaun Suisham and backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to season-ending injuries. Although, Michael Vick is a definitive upgrade over Gradkowski, so there’s that.

Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell will miss the first two games of the regular season, having been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. And Pro Bowl Antonio Brown is still healthy, but disgruntled about his contract.

Even minus one Tom Brady, the Steelers are going to face a very tough challenge going on the road to play the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the season opener. It’s a challenge that will be even tougher now that they’ve lost another offensive weapon.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was among the first to report the news on Thursday:

Drafted out of Clemson in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, wide receiver Martavis Bryant was a standout star in his rookie season. Though he only amassed total 549 yards, he made the most of every opportunity. Bryant averaged over 21 yards per reception and scored eight touchdowns.

With expectations for his sophomore season sky-high, losing Bryant to a possible four-game suspension (the suspension is definite, but could be reduced on appeal) is a particularly crushing blow. The situation is made worse by the fact that, given the length of his suspension, Bryant is not a first-time offender.

Although the details of the violations have not been released, based on the NFL’s discipline structure, at the very least this would be Bryant’s second positive test—and depending on what he’s been testing positive for, possibly his third.

At this point the Steelers have to be wondering just how big a problem they’ve got on their hands. Overcoming a four-game suspension once is one thing, but if Bryant fails anymore drug tests, he’ll be walking perilously close to Josh Gordon territory.

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