In 11 games last season, Bryant had 50 receptions, 765 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns. Even though he missed the first four games due to violating league substance policy, Bryant put up some good numbers helping the Steelers make a late push to the playoffs.
This is a big blow for the Steelers if this appeal is not overturned and he is suspended for the whole season. Bryant is a big part of the Steelers offense, providing good numbers in each of his past two seasons. Getting pressure off of number one star wide receiver Antonito Brown, and giving the team another deep threat in the passing game. Keep in mind since this is his second time getting in trouble with the league with the same thing, so the Steelers front office got to get a little worried about this. Look for Markus Wheaton to have a bigger role on the team this upcoming season, if Bryant does miss a good chunk of games.
This is the second time in his two seasons in the league that Bryant is facing a suspension. With the second suspension Bryant has to find a way to stay out of trouble off the field, since teams do not want a player that is violating the leagues substance policy time and time again. Look at Josh Gordon for example, great player but keeps getting caught violating the leagues substance policy.
One player that should take a hit from this news is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, this leaves him with only Brown Wilkins and a few depth guys as his wide receivers. Roethlisberger still has good receivers to work with, but he will missing the number two deep threat in Bryant. Wilkins should be able to step it up to replace the absence of Bryant.