NFL from the Sidelines

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O-R Sports reporter Dale Lolley gets you the insider scoop on the NFL.

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on the Steelers radio network pre-game show prior to every game. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.

NFL losing the PR battle with handling of Bryant

August 9, 2017
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant, left, walks beside offensive coordinator Todd Haley during an NFL training camp football practice, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in Latrobe, Pa. Bryant has not been cleared by the NFL to practice with the team after last year's season-long suspension. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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Pittsburgh Steelers staff members pull a tarp over one of the practice fields as rain falls during NFL football training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., Friday, July 28, 2017. The afternoon practice session was moved to Latrobe High School due to continuing rain. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

If the NFL wonders why it has a PR problem, it should look no further than its handling of the situation with Martavis Bryant.

Bryant was conditionally conditionally reinstated again by the league Wednesday, two full weeks after the Steelers reported to training camp at Saint Vincent College.

This was about three months after he had previously been conditionally reinstated by the league to resume practicing with the team in the offseason and at minicamp.

The Steelers can only hope Bryant doesn’t have a similar waiting period at the start of the season.

Don’t get me wrong. Bryant broke the rules. He deserved the one-year suspension he received for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

While legal in many states, marijuana remains illegal federally.

Most people view marijuana a little differently now than they did 20 or even 10 years ago.

Bryant also served his time. He sat out an entire year.

If he has continually tested clean as many as three times per week - and he has - why the wait?

It was frustrating to Bryant, the Steelers and their fans.

And the league was completely silent throughout the process.

@ Mike Tomlin said today that he has been in pretty consistent contact with running back Le’Veon Bell as he continues to sit out training camp.

If Bell doesn’t come in sometime in the next two weeks, you’ll start to see the Steelers get a little more anxious about his situation.

We saw another running back injured Wednesday in a non-contact drill as Trey Williams pulled himself out of punt return drills with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

That’s bad luck for Williams, a shifty runner who was also going to get an opportunity to return some punts Friday against the Giants.

It also shows what can happen during non-contact drills while training for football.

Bell has a $12.12-million contract waiting for him when he reports. When he puts his name to it, it becomes fully guaranteed.

But if he injures himself while working out on his own, the Steelers are under no obligation to pay him a dime.

Perhaps he has taken out some insurance in case of such an injury. But is it $12.12 million in insurance? And what is it costing him?

@ Because of injuries, the Steelers will likely play with just four healthy outside linebackers against the Giants - T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and Arthur Moats among them.

They surely want Watt to play a lot against the Giants. But Dupree and Moats, not so much.



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