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Steelers notebook: WR Brown expected to miss Chiefs game

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 2:36 p.m.
 

Receiver Antonio Brown (sprained ankle) isn't likely to play Monday against Kansas City despite the extra day of rest he'll get.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday it's possible an extra receiver will be added to the 53-man roster.

Emmanuel Sanders, who had a 63-yard punt return against the Giants, will stay in that role if Brown can't play, and he may add kickoff return duties if running back Chris Rainey is limited by his rib cartilage injury.

Rainey could play, but Tomlin said he will be in “big time discomfort.”

Troy Polamalu (calf) and Marcus Gilbert (ankle) are all but certain to be sidelined — Polamalu for the fifth consecutive game — but could get work in practice for the first time in weeks. There's a chance Polamalu could play Nov. 18 against the Ravens. Gilbert had his protective boot removed late last week. Running back Jonathan Dwyer (quadriceps) is expected back after missing the Giants game, and Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) will get a heavier practice load this week.

• With Dwyer back, Mendenhall on the mend and Isaac Redman coming off his 147-yard game against the Giants, Tomlin must sort out who gets the carries against the Chiefs on Monday. The offensive linemen seem to prefer having one running back getting all or most of the carries because it's easier to mesh when a line starts anticipating where a back is going. Tomlin didn't name a starter and said the running back who “gets the totes” will be the one who is running well. The Steelers have had a 100-yard rusher in the last three games, two by Dwyer and one by Redman.

• With the Steelers coming off a comeback win against the Giants and the AFC North-leading Ravens up next after the Chiefs, the potential for a letdown is there. Under similar circumstances in 2009 — Pittsburgh was 6-3, Kansas City 2-7 — the Steelers lost, 27-24, to the Chiefs in overtime. It was the second game of a five-game losing streak that included upset losses to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns.

• A Monday night home game? It's the closest thing to a can't-lose game for the Steelers. They are 6-0 at Heinz Field and 14-0 in Monday night games in Pittsburgh since they lost to the Giants, 23-20, on Oct. 14, 1991 — coach Chuck Noll's final season. The Steelers are 23-5 at home and 39-23 overall since Monday night games began in 1970.

• Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was Chiefs coach at this time last year and knows their personnel, strengths and weaknesses as well as anyone. Tomlin said Haley won't make “any grand speeches” to the Steelers but could offer a “nugget or two” of information.

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