Steelers News

Schefter, Rapoport Have Conflicting Reports About Brown’s Playoff Availability Timeframe

The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have wide receiver Antonio Brown for their final two regular season games due to a left calf injury that he suffered during last Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots. Beyond that, it’s tough to speculate if Brown will be ready for the Wild-card round of the playoffs should the Steelers ultimately fail to secure a first-round bye. On Sunday, two NFL insiders offered up different opinions on Brown’s future health.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, a league source told him that Brown is not expected to be ready for the Wild-card round of the playoffs due to a partially torn calf muscle. However, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Steelers are optimistic about Brown’s calf injury.

“The Steelers expected him to be 100 percent by the time they take the field in the playoffs whether or not that is the first round or whether or not they get a bye,” Rapoport said Sunday morning. “This is an injury — it’s actually a calf strain despite being described as a partially torn calf muscle — really the same thing Mike Tomlin has called it — a calf bruise. This was described to me as a minor injury. One that actually has led Brown to tell people he could play in Week 17, if they needed him. They don’t; he won’t play. But that gives you an idea about how minor this is. They believe when he takes the field — whenever that is next — he’ll be back to himself.”

So, which one of these two “insiders” do you believe?

Not that it means anything, but Brown posted a Saturday Snapchat story of him doing some band work with a trainer. Also, according to our very own Melanie H. Friedlander, MD, an actual doctor, Brown should be healthy enough to play in the Steelers first playoff game and that’s even if it’s in the Wild-card round.

In the grand scheme of things, we all hope the Steelers ultimately get a first-round bye in the playoffs as that would give Brown four full weeks of recovery time.
The Steelers really haven’t said much about Brown’s injury since it happened outside of head coach Mike Tomlin saying this past Tuesday that the team’s star wide receiver is dealing with a significant contusion to his lower leg.

“He can be characterized as out this week,” Tomlin said of Brown’s injury. “I don’t want to frame it in any other way. I think it’s simply too early to tell and then you end up backtracking saying, ‘Yeah, but, yeah, but.’ So, he’s out this week with a significant lower leg contusion. We’ll see what the future of it holds at the top of next week.”

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