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Steelers vs. Browns: The final word on Antonio Brown's status will be made Sunday

The high ankle sprain suffered by Steelers WR Antonio Brown may not be enough to keep him off the field. Or will it? We'll find out before kickoff

Matt Sullivan

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was limited in practice this week, but he gave it a real effort Friday. His aim was playing against Cleveland in Week 12.


High ankle sprains typically require more than three weeks to heal. That doesn't speak to the uniqueness of the situation, but it's a general guideline that holds approximate in most situations.

Brown's giving it a go anyway. Should we believe it? Should the Browns?

Either way, the Steelers aren't planning to reveal their intentions with Brown until kickoff, so expect to see the warm-up footage of Brown on the freezing surface of Cleveland Browns Stadium. He'll be out there at least warming up because veteran and fourth WR Jerricho Cotchery will not.

The Steelers go into this game with two of the four receivers who started the season on the team's active roster - Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders - healthy. They have since brought David Gilreath up from the practice squad and signed Plaxico Burress.

The Steelers are capable of playing with just three receivers, but choosing the third is the inexperienced Gilreath, the injured Brown or the unused Burress - who as signed this week and hasn't played a game in approximately one year.

Maybe that plays into the Steelers' strengths. If Cleveland isn't sure who will be out there, they can't really get a beat on what the Steelers plan to do in this game. Certainly, few would have thought the Steelers would have come out throwing the way they did in Week 11 against Baltimore.

It wouldn't be the popular strategy to repeat that performance, though. But the Steelers will need to throw the ball to compete in this game. Browns CB Joe Haden is still nursing an oblique injury, one that needs to be tested early.

Whether that's Brown administering that test, or any of the Steelers' new group of receivers - Young, Old and Undrafted Money - remains to be seen.