Rumors regarding injuries to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are in full swing, and the latest update has them both in the lineup against the Denver Broncos next week. While Brown suffered a concussion in the 4th quarter after being hit by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, he was seen smiling and laughing after the game. Also hit by Burifct, Roethlisberger hurt his right shoulder after being tackled awkwardly towards the end of the third quarter.
In spite of the injuries to their two best players, the Pittsburgh Steelers managed to pull off a miracle victory against the Bengals and will advance to the next round of the playoffs. Fortunately for the Steelers, their game against the Denver Broncos is scheduled for Sunday, January 17, at 4:40 p.m., so Brown and Roethlisberger will have the maximum amount of time to rest and get healthy. Here are the latest rumors and confirmed injury updates on each player.
Shortly after the hit, word came out that Brown suffered a concussion, and would be placed in the NFL concussion protocol, according to ESPN.
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2016
Players in the concussion protocol have to pass a series of tests throughout the week in order to be cleared to play. According to the NFL Players Association, Brown will have to prove that he is back at “baseline status” after repeated neurological tests. While the entire process has not yet been completed, insiders around the league feel as though Brown has a great chance of suiting up next week.
I'm told @AntonioBrown84 is fine and should be good to go in Denver.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 10, 2016
If it turns out Brown’s concussion is worse than originally thought, the Steelers are going to be in trouble. Brown is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and his 2015 season was his best yet. After losing running back Le’Veon Bell for the year earlier in the season, the Steelers have had to rely on Brown even more.
I can't see any way #Steelers beat Denver if Antonio Brown can't play.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) January 10, 2016
With word coming out that Brown’s concussion may not have been bad as originally speculated, Adam Jones of the Bengals believes that Brown may have flopped during the play. With Burfict facing a suspension for the hit, the NFL clearly disagrees with Jones.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 10, 2016
While the game is still a week away, it is great news for the Pittsburgh Steelers that Brown is expected to play next week. According to Vegas Insider odds, the Steelers will be as much as seven point underdogs against the Denver Broncos if Brown is unable to play. If he is in the lineup, the Steelers will only be around three point underdogs.
As one of the toughest players in the league, it is no surprise that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hopeful to play next week. While he has suffered numerous injuries this year, Roethlisberger has played through the pain and flourished despite not being 100 percent. Clearly shaken up in the fourth quarter against the Bengals, Roethlisberger was unable to throw the ball down the field as he usually does.
According to ESPN, Roethlisberger is listed as day-to-day, and should be all systems go against the tough Broncos defense.
— ESPN (@espn) January 10, 2016
While Roethlisberger did not have a lot to say about the injury after the victory against the Bengals, he did tell reporters that he is preparing for next week.
“We won the game. I’m going to give everything I can.”
After today’s MRI, news came out that Ben’s shoulder is not only sore, but it is separated, according to Deadspin.
Report: Ben Roethlisberger has a separated shoulder, but he'll try to play at Denver https://t.co/uwF8ChnkCE
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) January 10, 2016
While there is still a week to go before the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Denver Broncos, all signs are pointing towards Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger being in the lineup. While Brown should not have any limitations if he plays, Roethlisberger could still be limited from making longer passes with an injured throwing shoulder. Rumors regarding the status of the two stars of the Pittsburgh Steelers will continue throughout the week, and their final playing status may not be confirmed until right before kickoff on Sunday.
[Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]