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Steelers

Mike Tomlin: Steelers don't sweat Antonio Brown's injury, cautious on illness

Chris Adamski
| Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, 1:27 p.m.

Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers aren't worried about Antonio Brown's calf injury preventing him from playing in Sunday's playoff game.

But will an illness keep Brown off the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars? That is a legitimate question.

Brown was listed as questionable to play in Sunday's divisional-round playoff game on the team's official injury report released Friday afternoon.

About three hours earlier, Tomlin said he sent Brown home because of an undisclosed illness.

“I didn't want him to get any of the guys who weren't sick sick,” Tomlin said. “We'll bring him back in the building (Saturday) and continue with his game readiness. We don't have a lot of reservations about him from a physical health standpoint. We do need to get him well from an illness standpoint.”

ProFootballTalk.com reported Friday night that Brown will be a gametime decision because of his calf injury, which he suffered early in the Dec. 17 loss to New England. Brown missed the two subsequent games, the lone regular-season games he missed over the past five years (though he did sit out a divisional-round playoff game after the 2015 season because of a concussion).

Last season, Le'Veon Bell sat out practices during the postseason for what the team termed noninjury or personal reasons, and Bell later revealed he was nursing a groin injury.

Tomlin seemed to dispel that possibility Friday, especially when he added Brown “looked really good” physically during practice this week.

Brown, who led the NFL in receptions despite having his regular season cut short by the injury, returned to practice Monday and was a full participant this week until Friday.

Brown set an NFL record with 100-plus receptions in five consecutive seasons, including 101 this season. He had 1,533 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Brown has 44 catches for 705 yards and two touchdowns in nine career playoff games. He topped 100 yards in five of his past six and has at least five receptions in every postseason game he's played since his 2010 rookie year.

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

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown holds his left calf after being injured in the end zone during the second quarter against the Patriots on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown holds his left calf after being injured in the end zone during the second quarter against the Patriots on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, at Heinz Field.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown plays against the Ravens Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown plays against the Ravens Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 at Heinz Field.
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