Curtis Brown a healthy scratch, not a mystery

Grant Halverson

A curious report surfaced Sunday before the Steelers defeated the Ravens in which a source said the Ravens were intrigued by the Steelers' decision to scratch Curtis Brown from the game day roster. It doesn't really seem like a surprise, though.

An odd and particularly excited story from Pro Football Talk ran Sunday before the Steelers and Ravens kicked off at Heinz Field.

"A pre-game development has added a little intrigue to the first game of this year’s home-and-home clash between Pittsburgh and Baltimore," writes Mike Florio. "Cornerback Curtis Brown has been deactivated by the Steelers. Per a league source, that has immediately caught the attention of the Ravens."

It's unclear why that would catch the attention of the Ravens to the point they'd need to speak anonymously to the league's leader in anonymous sources. Brown provides little to no value as a defensive back, and while Florio noted the source told him the Ravens feel Brown is the Steelers' best special teams player - another interesting observation - the issue rested more with the fact they had to activate Cody Wallace, a utility offensive lineman, due to the injury to right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

That decision would prove itself valid early, as Gilbert only played seven snaps before his previously injured quadriceps forced him out of the game.

Mike Adams played 20 snaps against Baltimore, some as a tight end, and some at right tackle in place of Whimper, who went down for a bit but managed to return.

The decision to sit Brown was due to depth at other positions, making his role on special teams expendable, giving the nod to veteran Will Allen, who played his second game with the team after being acquired via free agency before Week 6.

The versatility of rookie Shamarko Thomas both as a safety and nickel back, combined with his special teams contributions, makes him capable of filling multiple spots on game day.

Unless the league source Florio mentions is referring more to the possibility of the Steelers releasing Brown, perhaps it's fair to lump his concerns in the misguided pile, and point out the Ravens are 3-4 for a reason.

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