The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Will Antonio Brown play tomorrow night in Cincinnati?
So…this isn’t a question we have had to ask very often. Literally, overall the course of his professional career, Antonio Brown has only experienced two injuries that have caused him to miss a game, one of which was a concussion in the playoffs a couple of years ago. He missed three games in his first full season as a starter in 2012, and since then has only sat due to playoff seeding during the regular season.
But Tony Toe Tap is dealing with a toe injury now that has caused him to sit out practice, and he is questionable to play. From the way that some teammates have described it, if it were up to him, he would play, though I’m not sure it will exactly be left in his capable hands to decide whether or not he will play.
The Steelers seem to be playing it pretty cautious this year overall when it comes to injuries, and a 9-2, with this game being non-essential provided that everything else goes their way, I could almost understand the caution.
Of course, you don’t want to lose any game, especially not on in your own division. And frankly the Steelers don’t really know what their offense looks like without Antonio Brown in it. It’s a bit of a scary thought, though I would be lying if I said a part of me were not intrigued to see what JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant as the top two targets would look like, if only for one non-essential game.
As we wrote about yesterday, this injury scare reminds us just how insanely durable Brown has been over the course of his career, which is a rarity for wide receivers who get his volume of workload, and even more so for those of his size. Just look at Odell Beckham, Jr., or Julio Jones, or Jordy Nelson, or…