Antonio Brown suffered a frightening injury in Saturday’s playoff game, taking a shot to the head with just seconds left and starting a crazy sequence that ended with the Steelers making the game-winning kick.
With less than 20 seconds remaining and the Steelers about 30 yards out of field goal range, Brown went up for a catch over the middle and was hit in the head by Cincinnati Bengals defender Vontaze Burfict. Referees threw a flag for unnecessary roughness, with Burfict hitting the defenseless Brown.
— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) January 10, 2016
And it got even crazier from there. As medical staff was helping the injured Antonio Brown, Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones got into a scuffle with Steelers linebacker coach (and former player) Joey Porter, who for some reason was on the field in the midst of the players. Referees threw another flag, and the Steelers marched forward a total of 30 yards on the play.
This set the Steelers up for an easy field goal with 13 seconds left on the clock, and time ran out on the Bengals season and what to that point had been an amazing comeback.
Ben Roethlisberger leads the Steelers on a game winning drive to beat the Bengals 18-16 in an insane game pic.twitter.com/YOB8SzQaGi
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 10, 2016
— SkySportsNFL (@SkySportsNFL) January 10, 2016
It was a wild finish to one of the craziest wild card games in recent memory. The Steelers came out to a 15-0 lead but after an injury to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Bengals mounted a furious comeback behind A.J. McCarron.
The Bengals took the lead late in the fourth quarter and then intercepted backup Landry Jones for what appeared to be a game-clinching play. But Jeremy Hill fumbled as the Bengals were trying to gain a game-ending first down, and a still-injured Roethlisberger marched back onto the field.
He led the Steelers down to midfield, leading to the play that injured Antonio Brown and kicked off the wild sequence.
The Steelers are now headed to Denver to take on the No. 1 seed Broncos, and the Bengals are headed home after a crushing defeat.
While there is no official report on the injury Antonio Brown suffered, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he suffered a concussion and that his status for next week’s game is uncertain. For those worried after the frightening hit, Brown has already sent a message to fans letting them know that he’s okay.
— Hunter Doucet (@HdDoucet) January 10, 2016
But if he is out, it would be a huge blow to a Steelers team that needed some final-weekend magic to even make the playoffs. Brown is the most important part of the Steelers offense, and could be able to hold down the team if Roethisberger is out.
We will offer an update on Antonio Brown’s injury as more information is available.
[Picture by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]