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Artie Burns, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave cleared to play for Steelers

Chris Adamski
| Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, 5:36 p.m.
Steelers cornerback Artie Burns interferes with the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski during the fourth quarter Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers cornerback Artie Burns interferes with the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski during the fourth quarter Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, at Heinz Field.

While Antonio Brown was a surprise downgrade on the Steelers injury report Friday, the three other starters whose statuses seemingly were in question were cleared by the end of practice.

Cornerback Artie Burns, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave — as well as reserve offensive lineman B.J. Finney — practiced fully. All were omitted from the official injury report heading into Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Burns (right knee) and Tuitt (right elbow) were hurt during Wednesday's practice. Each sat out Thursday's practice, as did Hargrave because of a back injury. Finney left the regular-season finale because of a thigh injury but returned to practice this week and was a full participant Thursday and Friday.

Tuitt said of Friday's practice: “It went great.”

Burns said he was “feeling good.”

Hargrave termed his injury “nothing serious.”

“I just didn't practice yesterday. That's all,” Hargrave said. “It ain't really nothing to it. I ain't hurt or anything like that.

Tuitt was even more dismissive of his injury. Asked if he was playing Sunday, Tuitt said, “No doubt.”

“It went great today. I moved my arm really well, pushed the offensive line back. It felt great.”

After practice, Tuitt did have a large wrap on his elbow. Burns likewise had his knee wrapped, although less so than Thursday.

“I'm feeling good,” Burns said. “I did all of my reps today in practice. I should be 100 percent. I felt good out there. All of my movements were good. I feel like I was able to run with good speed. I just have to keep doing therapy, and I'll be good.”

Burns has not missed any of the 35 games the Steelers have played (including playoffs) since he was a 2016 first-round pick.

Tuitt sat out four games this season because of biceps and back injuries. The only game Hargrave has missed over his two seasons was because of a concussion in December 2016, although he has had various injuries during training camp and summer workouts.

Staff writer Kevin Gorman contributed. Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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