Antonio Brown is out for the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos game. Brown has been ruled out by the Steelers as the team tries to prepare for a divisional round game in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. A report from NBC Sports states that Brown has still not recovered from a concussion that he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals on wild card weekend. This takes away the biggest weapon that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has to work with.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Antonio Brown was injured on one of the last plays of a wild card playoff game against the Bengals. He had to be taken off the field and it was immediately clear that he had suffered a concussion on the field. Despite losing one of its best players to injury, the Steelers managed to kick a field goal and win the playoff game. It advanced the No. 6 seeded Steelers to play the top seeded Denver Broncos this weekend.
With Antonio Brown out for the game, it changes the dynamics a bit. The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos game odds had the wild card team as seven-point underdogs earlier in the week, but this news could shift things even further. Another report from NBC Sports revealed that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been limited in practice this week. He is still struggling through an injured right shoulder and was unable to throw the ball at practice. That’s not good news as the game draws a bit closer.
In the wild card game between the Steelers and the Bengals, Roethlisberger completed 18-of-31 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. Seven of those completions were to Brown, who finished with 119 yards receiving on the day. During the regular season, Brown finished with 136 catches for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was the favorite target of Roethlisberger, much like when he posted 129 catches for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns during the 2014 NFL season. Having Antonio Brown ruled out puts the team in a really tough position against a very good Broncos defense.
During the 2015 NFL season, the Denver Broncos gave up the fewest yards in the league. The Broncos allowed just 283.1 yards per game, with just 199.6 of that in the passing game. It was already going to be difficult for the Steelers to gain a lot of passing yards, but losing a top receiver like this could be a huge blow. The teams did meet up once already this season though.
In Week 15, the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Denver Broncos in a game they would win 34-27. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Antonio Brown for 16 catches, 189 yards, and two touchdowns. It was an amazing output for both players, suggesting the team might be able to repeat that performance in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. With Antonio Brown out now, the team will have to turn to its other top receivers to put points on the scoreboard.
During the regular season, Martavis Bryant caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns, Markus Wheaton caught 44 passes for 749 yards and five touchdowns, and Heath Miller caught 60 passes for 535 yards and two touchdowns. Running back DeAngelo Williams also had 40 catches for 367 yards. All four receivers and possibly Darrius Heyward-Bey will need to step up in a big way when the Steelers play the Broncos this time.
Game time for the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos is 4:40 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 17. CBS will be providing live coverage of the game, with the winner advancing to play in the AFC Championship Game. With Antonio Brown out, the Steelers become heavy underdogs in this game, but it could get worse if Ben Roethlisberger is ruled out as well.
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