Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown left late in the second quarter of Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots. According to NFL.com, Antonio Brown was injured during a play in the end zone.
The injury was caused by an inadvertent collision between Brown and one of the Patriots’ defensive backs, who was defending on the pass intended for the Steelers’ receiver. The Patriots’ defender appeared to have kicked Antonio Brown in the leg as the two ran into each, while going after the football.
The collision did not appear intentional between Antonio Brown and the Patriots’ defender. However, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin immediately ruled out a third quarter return for Antonio Brown.
After languishing momentarily, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ medical staff helped Antonio Brown off the football field and into the locker room. Brown was taken to the hospital shortly after for further examination.
The early diagnosis for Antonio Brown is a left calf bruise, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Super Bowl hopes of the Pittsburgh Steelers could take a dynamic blow if Antonio Brown is out for more than a month.
Antonio Brown was already making an impact for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who came into the game against the New England Patriots as owners of the top seed in the AFC. The importance of a Steelers win meant Pittsburgh would have the inside track to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. To reach the Super Bowl, the Steelers will need Antonio Brown.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 17, 2017
Antonio Brown, one of the leaders for the NFL most valuable player honors, hauled in two of his three targets, for a total 24 yards. For the NFL season, Brown leads not only the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the league with 1,533 yards receiving.
The cupboard is not bare for the Pittsburgh Steelers if Antonio Brown is ruled out for the remaining two games of the season. The Steelers have depth at receiver with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, and Eli Rogers.
None of the Steelers’ trio can be confused for Antonio Brown, but each of them has enough talent to keep things moving forward.
With Antonio Brown facing a semi-serious injury, the onus will be placed on Le’Veon Bell and at least one of the receivers to step up. The latter will likely fall to either Smith-Schuster or Bryant.
Antonio Brown has reached 100 catches for the 5th straight season, breaking a tie with Marvin Harrison for the longest such streak in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/jTcS5U7dra
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 17, 2017
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a big target for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Martavis Bryant, in the meantime, has a combination of size and speed. They can do enough without Antonio Brown to ensure that the Steelers do not face eight-man defensive fronts, aimed at slowing down Le’Veon Bell.
More will be known once the Steelers learn about the future status of Antonio Brown. Brown’s availability going forward will determine how much tinkering Mike Tomlin has to do with the Steelers’ game plan.
Antonio Brown’s injury took the steam out of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans, who were greeted to a surprise visit from injured linebacker Ryan Shazier. According to Pro Football Talk, Shazier was given a roaring standing ovation as he waved from the box suites.
Without Antonio Brown the Pittsburgh Steelers were 27-24 losers to the New England Patriots.
Injury Update On Antonio Brown:
According to ESPN, Antonio Brown has suffered from a partially torn left calf muscle. Antonio Brown has been ruled out of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ next game against the Houston Texans.
Antonio Brown will also miss the final game of the regular season versus the currently winless Cleveland Browns. If the Pittsburgh Steelers can win their remaining two games they will be guaranteed a bye in the first of the NFL playoffs. The Steelers will be able to let Antonio Brown heal for four weeks by sitting him out.