Tuesday’s NFL: Tomlin says Bryant is ‘out of bounds’

BY Will Graves
Associated Press

Pittsburgh — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has a message for wide receiver Martavis Bryant: get comfortable.

Tomlin stressed Tuesday that Bryant is “not available via trade” following a social media outburst late Sunday in which Bryant expressed frustration about his role in the offense and hinted he wants to go to a team where he can get more playing time.

“It’s irrelevant whether his gripe is legitimate,” Tomlin said. “It’s whether it’s appropriate.”

Bryant initially called out rookie teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster while commenting on an Instagram post that claimed Bryant was being ignored by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Bryant later deleted the post, replacing it with one in which he called Smith-Schuster a “great talent” then adding “I just wants mine period point-blank.”

Smith-Schuster brushed off the criticism on Monday, but Tomlin chastised Bryant for publicly airing issues he believes should be kept in-house.

“He was out of bounds in some of his actions in terms of the things he said on social media,” Tomlin said.

Bryant ran once for 2 yards and caught one pass for 3 yards in a 29-14 win over Cincinnati last Sunday, the second-lowest yardage total of his career.

Seven games into his return and heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions at Ford Field, Bryant is tied for third on the team with 18 receptions.

He’s also third in targets, though his 13.0 yards per catch is well below the 17.3 yards per reception he averaged while becoming one of the NFL’s most potent deep threats in 2014 and 2015, when he scored 14 touchdowns in 21 games.

Bryant, 25, has successfully navigated the difficult path back to the league, taking all the necessary off-the-field steps required to clear the numerous hurdles the league puts in place for repeat offenders of the substance abuse policy.

“We’ve invested a lot, we’ve covered a lot of ground,” Tomlin said.

“It’s obvious we’ve still got more ground to cover with him because we’re still having a conversation that’s not football-related.”

Lynch’s appeal denied

Marshawn Lynch’s appeal of his one-game suspension for shoving an official has been declined and the running back will miss Oakland’s game this week at Buffalo.

The NFL announced that appeals officer James Thrash upheld the one-game ban without pay.

Thrash was appointed by the league and the NFLPA.

Colts’ Mathis jailed

Robert Mathis, a former Colts defensive star and current assistant coach, has been jailed on a preliminary charge of driving while intoxicated.

Police in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel say the 36-year-old Mathis was arrested on the misdemeanor charge early Tuesday after driving the wrong way on a one-way street and not signaling a turn.

Personnel dept.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson says nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters and starting linebacker Jordan Hicks will miss the rest of the season after being injured in Monday’s 34-24 win over Washington.

... Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas had surgery for his torn left triceps, an injury that ended his consecutive plays streak at 10,363.

... The Chargers have signed well-traveled offensive lineman Michael Ola to boost their depleted depth at the position.