Another day, and another casualty for the Patriots vs. Steelers season opener. Today, it was reported that second year Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant will be suspended for four games due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That suspension is still pending appeals.
Bryant joins fellow teammate Le’Veon Bell and Patriots offensive stars Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount as players currently slated to miss week one due to suspension. Bryant emerged late in 2014 for the Steelers as a dynamic downfield target with eight touchdowns and 21.1 yards per reception. At 6’4” and 211 lbs, he was likely to create a lot of match-up issues for the Patriots’ secondary.
Both the Steelers and the Patriots are expected to be amongst the league’s best offensive teams in 2015, but all of these potential casualties could impact the quality of play in week one. Of course, the Patriots will still have to deal with perhaps’ the league’s best wide receiver in Antonio Brown. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated had a good idea of what their game plan should look like:
Now that Martavis Bryant is also out for Week 1, here's a sneak peek at the Patriots' game plan for Antonio Brown: pic.twitter.com/9vRbSRrd8x— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) August 27, 2015
Yeah, something like that.