Can this preseason be over? Please?
First Shaun Suisham hurt himself trying to be a football player, then Maurkice Pouncey was lost for the bulk of the season with a broken foot. Finally, Bruce Gradkowski suffered a serious wrist injury which necessitated the signing of Michael Vick, sending a significant part of Steeler Nation into howls – pardon the pun – of protest. Mind you, we haven’t even played a single meaningful game yet. And when we do, we’ll be without our #2 receiver.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended 4 games for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Which for those scoring at home means when the Steelers kick off the season against the Patriots, we’ll be without Le’Veon Bell – suspended 2 games for last year’s pot bust – our Pro Bowl Center and our big play receiver. Not good considering our defense is highly suspect and our best chance for winning was to ride our high-powered offense. Guess we’ll see how good Todd Haley’s system really is.
There was details released on what Bryant was popped for as the substance abuse policy covers a wide range of things. It could be steroids, it could be weed – knowing the Steelers, it was probably weed as the team seems to be a haven for potheads dating all the way back to Bam Morris. No wonder we’re Snoop Dog‘s favorite team. It could also be something as innocent as ADD medication. Our new kicker, Garrett Hartley, was busted a few seasons ago for Adderall as one of the dirty little secrets in football is how many guys take ADD meds (which are basically stimulants) to improve their concentration and focus.
In Bryant’s absence, the Steelers don’t really have any good options. Usually they have a veteran receiver in camp to act as a fallback but this year the only one who fits that description is Darrius Heyward-Bey. Bey was here last year where he made a whopping 3 catches and was used mainly on special teams. Beyond that all we have are a couple rookies, third round pick Sammie Coates and former Boston College QB Tyler Murphy. Coates has shown flashes but the knock on him coming out was suspect hands and he’s lived up to his reputation dropping a number of passes this preseason. Murphy has been one of camp’s most interesting surprises as he tries to pull a Hines Ward and transition over to wide out but I’m not sure he’s ready for prime time.
Although, ready or not, the season kicks off in less than two weeks. At this point, if we have any recognizable names left in our line-up, I’ll consider it a small miracle.