Bryant is appealing the decision, but if he’s not successful with the appeal, it means he’ll miss the Steelers first four games of the season. Pittsburgh opens up at New England before hosting the 49ers in Week 2.
Those first two games could get rough for the Steelers offense.
The team is already expected to be without running back Le’Veon Bell and center Maurkice Pouncey. Bell is suspended for the first two weeks of the season and Pouncey is out indefinitely after undergoing ankle surgery this week.
The Steelers center was injured in a preseason win over the Packers on Aug. 23.
As for Bryant, the second-year receiver would also miss a Week 3 game at St. Louis and a Thursday night home game against the Ravens in Week 4 if his appeal is unsuccessful.
If Bryant’s appeal sticks, he’ll still be eligible to play in Pittsburgh’s final two preseason games and he’s also allowed to practice with the team from now until the preseason’s over.
The 2014 fourth-round pick had an explosive rookie year for the Steelers, chalking up 549 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on only 26 receptions. Bryant also had the longest catch of the 2014 season, a 94-yarder against the Bengals in Week 14.