'Stunned' agent says depressed Bryant will check into rehab


Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant will check into a rehab facility and undergo an evaluation for depression issues, one of his agents said.

Reports surfaced on Saturday that Bryant is facing at least a year-long suspension for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse.

"We're all stunned, me included," agent Brian Fettner told USA Today after the news broke.

"We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn't a party issue. It's a coping issue and a depression issue, and he's got to take care of it."

Fettner is in Florida to speak with the 24-year-old Bryant, who caught 50 passes for 765 yards with six touchdowns last year and has 76 receptions for 1,314 yards and 15 scores in 21 career games and eight starts.

Fettner told USA Today he will discuss three clinic options with Bryant with the hope the receiver will check into a facility on Sunday.

"If you talk to anybody's family that has depression, they will be talking about these same things - the [despondence], the withdrawal, the head-in-the-sand despair - just trying to cope," Fettner said, adding that Bryant will appeal the suspension.

Bryant was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 NFL season after violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The season-long ban is for missing multiple drug tests, not for testing positive, but Fettner did admit Bryant has a problem with marijuana.

Missed drug tests count the same as failed tests under the NFL's substance abuse policy.

The Steelers were aware of Bryant's issue when they re-signed Darrius Heyward-Bey to a three-year deal on Monday.

"This is the biggest cry for help I've ever seen. And that hurts. It hurts us to see," Fettner said. "He's 24 years old and he's got to get right, whatever it is."