Former NFL receiver Martavis Bryant among 8 Argonauts placed on suspended list


Former NFL receiver Martavis Bryant was among eight players placed on the CFL’s suspended list Saturday by the Toronto Argonauts.

Bryant, 29, signed with Toronto on Jan. 25. He was suspended multiple times during his NFL tenure but Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said Saturday’s decision was passport related.

“Martavis is having some passport issues,” Dinwiddie said during a video conference. “Hopefully he will get that figured out soon and come joins us for camp.”

The six-foot-four, 210-pound Bryant spent five seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2014-17) and Oakland Raiders (2018), registering 145 catches for 2,183 yards and 17 TDs in 44 career games. But the former Clemson star was also banned by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

NFL.com reported last July that multiple teams had expressed interest in Bryant but he hadn’t applied for reinstatement after receiving an indefinite suspension in 2018 while with Oakland.

Bryant was suspended for the 2016 season for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. He also received a four-game ban for violating the league’s rules in 2015.

4 Americans, 3 Canadians also suspended by Toronto

Also suspended Saturday were four Americans (receivers Brandon Sheperd, Keyarris Garrett and Kendall Wright and defensive back James Sample) and three Canadians (linebackers Nelkas Kwemo, Nick Shortill and Robert Woodson). The club also announced American running back Bishop Sankey had retired.

Dinwiddie was hopeful that some of the Canadians could join the Argos at some point.

“I think those guys have other opportunities,” Dinwiddie said. “Two of the three I know at some stage we’ll probably have back. If they could join us at some point, great, the door is going to be open for all three of those guys if they choose to [come].”

Dinwiddie said veteran CFL coach Rich Stubler wasn’t with the team when it opened training camp Saturday because he was completing his quarantine. Stubler is expected to be on the field with the Argos early next week as a defensive assistant.

Stubler, 71, has coached in the CFL since 1983 when he joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a defensive coordinator. He’s set to begin his fourth tenure with Toronto and has also spent time with Edmonton, B.C., Calgary and Montreal during his time in Canada.

Stubler served as Toronto’s head coach in 2008 but was fired after a 4-6 start to that season.

“Stubler will be here in two days and be a part of our team,” Dinwiddie said. “He’s that veteran guy that’s been around the block, he’s a great coach and a good person.

“I’m excited that he’s here. He’s going to add to our staff and make us better.”

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