Football

What the Raiders are saying about wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s return

What the Raiders are saying after season-opening loss to Rams

The Oakland Raiders opened the season with a 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.
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The Oakland Raiders opened the season with a 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

Martavis Bryant was officially back with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday.

Just two weeks ago, the Raiders waived Bryant, but the team brought back the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver on a one-year deal.

“I think he’s in a good place right now,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters. “I think he’s healthy. I think he’s ready to go. I’m sold on that. We’ve been in contact with him since he’s been away. As I said when we made the trade to get him, when he’s right, he can be a difference maker. We’re hoping that he can be one sooner than later.”

In April, the Raiders traded their third-round pick (79th overall) for Bryant. He was with the Raiders during organized team activities through training camp before getting waived on Sept. 1.

Bryant is excited to get another opportunity with the Raiders.

“Thank you God for the blessings I stayed true to you and the process so thankful for everything and people don’t be to quick to judge a book by its cover. God has the last day so in everything period,” Bryant wrote on his Instagram.

There was talk that Bryant could be facing a year-long suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. That is a wait-and-see approach.

Bryant could play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

The Raiders need help on the receiving side after Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper were held to a combined four receptions for 32 yards in a 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday.

“Fast player. Deep threat,” Cooper said. “He can really take the top off a defense, so we’re excited about that and he’s a guy that is really going to help open things up for us. “

“Just another playmaker,” said Nelson. “Someone who is very dynamic with his speed and can stretch the field, but can make plays in other aspects as well. It’s good to have him back.”

Derek Carr, who passed for 303 yards (199 in the first half) and three interceptions, is happy to have Bryant back in the fold.

“I think he’s in a good place,” Carr said. “We obviously know what kind of talent he is and so very excited to have him back and have that threat of that speed.”

Bryant came into the NFL the same year as Carr in 2014 and played three seasons for Pittsburgh, totaling 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns.

He missed the 2016 season for violating the NFL substance policy.

Gruden said he was outplayed by other receivers including Keon Hatcher, whom they let go to make room for Bryant.

“He’s a guy that’s proven,” Gruden said. “He can go up and get the deep ball in contested situations. He can run away from you. He can make you miss. He can make big plays down the fields, that’s an obvious. We’re hoping that we can bottle up where he is now. He’s in a great place. He’s healthy. He’s ready to go. He has a great state of mind. We’ll see what happens.”

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee
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