Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown returned punts for the first time this season in the team’s Week 4 road win over the Baltimore Ravens and he’ll apparently continue doing so Sunday at Heinz Field against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Brown said on Friday that he’ll return punts against the Jaguars, according to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Against the Ravens, Brown returned two punts for 15 yards with a long of 9 yards. He also had one fair catch during the game.
With Brown now set to remain the Steelers punt returner this week, it makes you wonder if fellow wide receiver Eli Rogers, who returned punts for the team in their first three games, will ultimately be inactive on Sunday against the Jaguars.
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained what led to Rogers being inactive on Sunday against the Ravens and why Brown was allowed to replace him as the team’s punt returner.
“He [Rogers] put the ball on the ground the other week in the punt return game,” Tomlin explained of the moves. “That’s one of his chief roles. That’s one of the chief reasons why he’s a participant. I wanted to give him a week off from that and reestablish some good fundamentals in that area, and that provided an opportunity for Justin Hunter.”
Tomlin, however, did leave the door open for Rogers to quickly being back active on Sundays and being the team’s punt returner.
“Yeah, we’ll just see how the week goes. I’ll give him an opportunity,” Tomlin said. “Like I told him a week ago, it’s not a firing, it’s a re-centering, if you will. He had a good week last week. I’m sure he’s excited about getting back out there again tomorrow. I just saw him this morning in the building. He’ll be given an opportunity like everyone else is. The decisions that we made a week ago were for that game, putting us in the very best position to win that game. I’m open to roles changing and evolving as we prepare this week.”
With Rogers inactive last weekend, fellow Steelers wide receiver Justin Hunter was allowed to dress for the first time this season. Hunter, however, played just 9 offensive snaps against the Ravens and caught just one pass for 5 yards on two total targets.