The Pittsburgh Steelers will see what life is like without the top wideout Antonio Brown, at least for a few weeks.
Ian Rapoport updated the situation during the game last night;
After a variety of tests, #Steelers WR Antonio Brown has a partially torn calf muscle, source said. The hope is that he’s OK for the postseason. His regular season is over. No surgery needed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 18, 2017
Brown, who hurt the leg during a play early in the second, was questionable for a return after the first tests before ultimately being ruled out and taken to the hospital.
Brown caught only two passes for 24 yards before the injury but wraps up a stellar campaign with 101 receptions for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns. Brown also came up clutch multiple times throughout the season with at least two catches directly putting Pittsburgh in range for game-winning field goals.
These clutch moments arose in Sunday’s game and where Brown would normally shine, Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant came up big during the final drive. The hole couldn’t be filled forever as the game-deciding interception was going to Eli Rogers on a play Brown would have been in his spot.
Head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the injury and how his players reacted after the game. “It changes. A.B. is significant,” Tomlin told reporters. “But I thought the guys did a nice job of adjusting and making plays largely. You lose somebody like A.B. and there’s an adjustment.”
While the Steelers would have liked to have the MVP candidate to finish the year they have already secured their playoff spot. They are fighting for home-field throughout now, something hindered by the loss last night.
The Steelers are 11-3 with games against the lowly Texans and Browns to round out the year. They should be able to come through as they await their stars return for the winter stretch.