The Pittsburgh Steelers ruled wide receiver Eli Rogers out for the team’s Sunday night home game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a toe injury and that likely means that fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown will likely have to return punts in that contest.
“Yeah, but again, Markus Wheaton has done it in the past and he continues to work that area,” head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday when asked if Brown will return punts with Rogers sidelined. “We’ll work all parties available to us in terms of trying to replace some of the injured guys that we could miss. Like Eli and others that we’re talking about, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams.”
Through the Steelers first three games of the 2016 regular season, Brown has returned just two punts for 18 yards with a long of 14. Additionally, he has two fair catches on the season.
The Chiefs have done a good job covering punts so far in their first three regular season games as only 7 of the 15 boots by punter Dustin Colquitt have been returned for a total of 32 yards.
Last season, Brown returned 22 punts for 212 yards and a touchdown and that score went for 71 yards against the Indianapolis Colts.
While Tomlin did mention Markus Wheaton as being a possible option on Tuesday, he’s yet to return a punt in a regular season game so far during his career.
Brown has stated several times that he likes returning punts and wasn’t very happy last year when the Steelers signed Jacoby Jones midway through the season to take over the job. Jones didn’t last long, however, and Brown took back over the punt return job with three games remaining in the regular season.