Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant expected to enter rehab

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 14, 2016 at 12:53 AM
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant, facing a one-year suspension for repeat violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, is reportedly fighting depression and plans to enter rehab for evaluation.

One of his agents, Brian Fettner, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports the ban stems from multiple missed drug tests.

"We're all stunned, me included," Fettner said Saturday. "We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn't a party issue. It's a coping issue and a depression issue, and he's got to take care of it."

Bryant's other agent, Tom Santanello, told USA TODAY that nothing would happen before Monday as they continue to sort through their appeals options.

"This is the biggest cry for help I've ever seen. And that hurts. It hurts us to see," Fettner told USA TODAY. "He's 24 years old and he's got to get right, whatever it is. If you talk to anybody's family that has depression, they will be talking about these same things -- the (despondence), the withdrawal, the head-in-the-sand despair -- just trying to cope.

"This is a long road to earn people's trust back, but honestly, we can't even worry about that right now. You've got to get him healthy."

The 6-foot-4, 211-pound Bryant was suspended for four games last year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Bryant, a 2014 fourth-round draft pick from Clemson, caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games last season.

Bryant has 76 catches for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns in 21 regular-season NFL games, and 19 catches for 244 yards and two TDs in three playoff games.

Bryant is due $600,000 in 2016 salary, the third year of a four-year rookie contract.

Pittsburgh's decision to sign receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to a three-year extension was a direct result of Bryant's potential absence in 2016, a source told ESPN.

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