PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant says he took an “intentional” late hit from Indianapolis Colts safety Matthias Farley while on the ground during Saturday’s 19-15 loss.
While discussing how he bulked up in the offseason to prepare for NFL physicality, Bryant referenced a screen play early in the second quarter that resulted in a gang tackle. Cornerback Vontae Davis brought Bryant down by his right ankle, and with his left knee down, Farley flew in for an upper-body hit.
“I feel better about my body and my ability on the field. I don’t have to worry about taking so many injuries from different plays like yesterday where he tried to hurt me,” Bryant told ESPN. “Just making sure my body feels good and I stay in shape.”
Asked about the nature of the hit, Bryant said it was “definitely intentional.”
“I was already on the ground. It is what it is,” Bryant said. “My foot was already bent. … [Farley] just came in and hit me.”
Replays showed Bryant getting bent backward on the play, but he got up on his own.
Bryant, who is under conditional reinstatement after missing all of 2016 for multiple drug offenses, lost 3 yards on the play and finished the game with 23 yards on five catches.
He is the Steelers’ starting No. 2 receiver after recording 15 total touchdowns in his first 21 NFL games.