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NFL notes: Steelers WR Martavis Bryant says he'll be inactive for game against Lions

NFL notes: Steelers WR Martavis Bryant says he'll be inactive for game against Lions
Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant expects to be on the inactive list this weekend. (Keith Srakocic / Associated Press)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to trade Martavis Bryant. They also apparently don't have any plans to play him either. At least not in Detroit.

Bryant indicated he'll be inactive when the first-place Steelers visit the Lions on Sunday night, the fallout from a social media outburst in which the wide receiver made it clear he's unhappy with his role in the offense.

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“I'm fine,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I ain't tripping.”

Passionately defiant at times, Bryant insisted he meant no ill will when he suggested he was better than rookie teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster during an Instagram comment shortly after Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati last weekend. Bryant deleted his initial response and replaced it with one in which he wrote he wanted to be on a team where he could “gets mine.”

Given a few days to cool off, Bryant instead doubled down, even though coach Mike Tomlin called Bryant's comments “out of bounds.”

“I feel like I'm better than every receiver or any receiver I played with,” Bryant said. “For (JuJu), he feels the same way. (Antonio Brown) feels the same way. Justin Hunter feels the same way. Everybody feel the same way.”

Bryant, tied for third on the team with 18 receptions through seven games in his return from a year-plus suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, stressed he believes he's a “great teammate.” Several Steelers surrounded Bryant's locker when he began to address a gaggle of media for the second time in as many weeks, though they quickly broke up.

Maybe because the spectacle is becoming a bit too commonplace.

A day after a dominant road victory in Kansas City on Oct. 15, he downplayed reports he wanted to be traded, reports that surfaced as the team was flying back to Pittsburgh that he wanted out. This time around, he didn't dismiss the idea of being sent elsewhere before next Tuesday's deadline. If anything, he welcomed it, even though Tomlin stressed Bryant isn't on the market.

“If I'm not traded, I'm going to work my butt off here and whatever happens, happens,” he said. “You're not going to hear me complain or nothing no more, I'm just going to be quiet and let everything fall in place.”

Etc.

Miami Dolphins left guard Anthony Steen has been ruled out of Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens because of a foot injury. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is questionable because of a knee injury. Receiver DeVante Parker is questionable because of an ankle injury, but returned to practice this week and might play for the first time since Week 5. … Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly practiced in full pads and coach Ron Rivera says he's on pace to play Sunday against the Buccaneers. Kuechly participated in all of practice Wednesday but has not yet been cleared from the NFL concussion protocol. …

Defensive end Myles Garrett could miss Cleveland's trip to London because of a concussion. The top overall pick in this year's NFL draft was placed in concussion protocol on Tuesday after arriving at the team's facility with concussion-like symptoms. Because of the timing, it's unlikely he will play in Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings at Wickenham Stadium. … Matt Prater is under contract with the Detroit Lions through the 2020 season after the standout kicker signed a three-year extension. … The New York Jets have signed tight end Neal Sterling off the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad and placed cornerback Xavier Coleman on injured reserve.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart says the league expects Colin Kaepernick to be invited to the next meeting between owners and players to discuss social justice initiatives. Lockhart adds that the meeting probably will take place next week. The players' union and its members decide who attends such gatherings; the league and players met last week in New York in the wake of backlash concerning player demonstrations during the national anthem. “My understanding is that Colin Kaepernick has been invited to the last two meetings,” Lockhart says Wednesday. “He has been in discussion with the players coalition.

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