Bryant caught two of his four targets for 78 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 45-42 AFC divisional-round loss to Jacksonville.
Bryant didn't see a pass thrown his way until the final seconds of the first half, although it resulted in a 36-yard score. However, he didn't have another target until the final minutes of the game. After sitting out the entire 2016 campaign for substance abuse violations, Bryant returned this season to haul in 50 of his 84 targets for 603 yards and three TDs in 15 contests. The 26-year-old wideout clearly has the talent to produce better numbers than that, but looking ahead, the continued presence of superstar Antonio Brown and promising JuJu Smith-Schuster means that Bryant's path to targets in the Steelers passing game is not always going to be consistent, at least when the aforementioned duo is healthy. Bryant, whose rookie contract runs through next season, is set to earn $705,000 in 2018.
Bryant, who caught six passes (on seven targets) for 65 yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Browns, finishes up the 2017 season with 50 catches (on 84 targets) for 603 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran six times for 22 yards and added 151 yards on nine kick returns in 15 games.
This was one of Bryant's better games, as he struggled with consistency all season. The six receptions tied his game-high this season, and the 65 yards was his best effort since Week 2, when he totaled 91 yards. There is no question that Bryant has talent, but he has been vocal about his role in the offense, and with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster on the roster, that might not change. Bryant is signed until 2019, and most of his annual salary is guaranteed, so he'll likely return next season. In the meantime, Brown is still recovering from a calf injury, so Bryant could play a more significant role than usual when the Steelers take the field in Week 19.
Bryant caught three of four targets for 60 yards and added an eight-yard rush in Monday's 34-6 win over Houston.
Even with Antonio Brown (calf) sidelined, Bryant didn't see nearly as much attention from Ben Roethlisberger as Le'Veon Bell (eight targets) or JuJu Smith-Schuster (seven targets). The mercurial wideout's big-play ability gives him a high ceiling for next week's finale against the mistake-prone Browns, but Bryant's inconsistency also gives him a low floor.
Bryant will take on an expanded role over the final two weeks of the regular season with Antonio Brown (calf) out of the lineup, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Bryant has somewhat quietly accumulated 18 catches on 28 targets over the past four weeks, culminating with a 59-yard, one-touchdown outing in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Patriots. His big game included a diving 39-yard catch and a one-handed touchdown grab, though he only drew three of his six targets after Brown's exit early in the second quarter. Bryant, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eli Rogers all should handle key roles over the final two weeks of the season, starting with Monday's prime matchup against a Houston defense that has surrendered a 62.4-percent catch rate and 9.4 yards per target to wide receivers this season.
Bryant brought in four of six targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Patriots.
Bryant capped an impressive 15-play, 78-yard drive in the closing seconds of the first half with a four-yard touchdown reception, his second of the season. The third-year wideout has now posted at least four catches in four consecutive weeks, and although his 11.3 YPC is a far cry from the 21.1 and 15.3 figures he'd posted over his first pair of NFL campaigns, Bryant could be the beneficiary of an expanded Week 16 role versus the Texans if Antonio Brown (calf) misses the contest.
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|