The offense was supposed to carry the Pittsburgh Steelers until their defense matured this season, but the offense is falling apart bit by bit.
First, star running back Le'Veon Bell was suspended.
Then, All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey was injured.
Today we learned from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Martavis Bryant is appealing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Losing Bryant would be a blow to a team that will need every available weapon to keep up with opponents who have shown once again this preseason that the Steelers' defense continues to transition from its recent glory years.
To draw a four-game suspension, a player must have failed four drug tests, according to last September's change in the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Bryant, a second-year wide receiver, missed the first six games last season but came on strong upon earning playing time. In the final 10 games, he caught 26 passes for 549 yards (21.1 avg.) and eight touchdowns.
In an interview with SteelCityInsider on Wednesday, Bryant said "I got better at everything compared to last year because I didn't really know much. All I was doing last year was running go routes, so I've just been working on my routes and getting bigger and stronger."
Bryant said his all-day sessions included MMA, karate and speed/strength workouts. He also ran routes twice a week with a former professional receiver (whom he wouldn't name).
"I wouldn't get home till about 8 o'clock every day," Bryant said. "I did that for like four weeks straight."
It appears Bryant will have the chance to navigate that circuit again this September.