Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The second-year player’s appeal of the suspension was denied by the NFL on Monday.
Bryant became a key target for Ben Roethlisberger toward the end of the 2014 season, making 26 receptions for 549 yards and eight touchdowns. He was a fourth-round draft pick out of Clemson last year and was expected to be a strong complement to All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown.
Pittsburgh already was going to be missing All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell for its opener Sept. 10 at New England. Bell also is serving a suspension under the same policy.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas could be sidelined for multiple games to start the regular season. General Manager Dave Caldwell said that Thomas will get a second opinion on his injured right hand, and if he needs surgery, he would be sidelined another four weeks. … The Oakland Raiders reportedly have released running back Trent Richardson, according to reports. … New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson will be back in court in Missouri on Oct. 5 after pleading not guilty to resisting arrest and traffic charges. … The Carolina Panthers acquired wide receiver Kevin Norwood in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for an undisclosed 2017 draft choice. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired rookie kicker Kyle Brindza from the Detroit Lions for tight end Tim Wright. … The Jaguars traded longtime kicker Josh Scobee to the Steelers for a sixth-round draft pick in 2016. … The San Francisco 49ers placed center Daniel Kilgore on the reserve/physically unable to perform list as he works back from a second procedure on his left fibula that he fractured last October.