The Pittsburgh Steelers have been in a sort of free fall over the course of the last week and a half. After losing Shaun Suisham, Maurkice Pouncey and Stephon Tuitt to injury, the Steelers knew they’d open the regular season without running back Le’Veon Bell. Now the team will be further handicapped by receiver Martavis Bryant’s four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Bryant, expected to have a big second season, lost some time in training camp due to surgery on an infected elbow. Now he is facing more time off of the field for marijuana usage. Bryant expects to appeal the suspension in the next week or so.
The Steelers will be forced to make yet another adjustment to what appeared initially to be a well-balanced offense. The team appears to be imploding, begging questions of the level of leadership left with the squad and in the locker room.
Rookie receiver Sammie Coates will likely see an increase in playing time as Pittsburgh now looks at the depth at the receiver position as possible fortuitous. Darrius Heyward-Bey is expected to play a larger role when the Steelers face the Buffalo Bills on Saturday in preseason play.
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