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Steelers Injury Report: The focus turns to Antonio Brown, who is ruled out vs. Texans

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without their All-Pro wide receiver for at least Week 16, possibly longer.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers potentially had a bigger loss on Sunday other than the one to the New England Patriots. The loss of Antonio Brown, the game’s best wide receiver, will certainly have an impact on the team moving forward.

As Mike Tomlin met with the media on Tuesday during his weekly press conference, he described Brown’s injury as a severe bone contusion, and has been ruled out in Week 16 vs. the Houston Texans on Monday night.

Tomlin refused to speculate on when Brown may return, but many feel he should be back for the playoffs. For the Steelers, the best-case scenario would be for the team to lock up a first-round bye, giving Brown three full weeks to rest and recover before returning in the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs.

Here’s what Dr. David Chao, former head physician for the San Diego Chargers, thought about Brown’s injury, and his timeline for potential return:

Calf muscle strains and partial tears are known to linger, especially in explosive athletes like Brown.

If this were a partial tear from elongation suffered while changing directions or pushing off, it could easily affect Brown for the next 4-6 weeks, which would leave him at less than 100 percent for the playoffs.

By video, though, this partial muscle tear was from a direct blow and thus will have less separation of muscle fibers and a potentially quicker return.

Yes, he will likely still miss the final two games of the regular season, but this gives him a good chance to be effective for the playoffs — and potentially 100 percent for a possible rematch with the Patriots.

Brown wasn’t the only player discussed by Tomlin at his press conference with regard to injuries.

Tomlin announced that guard Ramon Foster was entered into the NFL’s concussion protocol after he reported to the facility on Monday with symptoms. He will obviously have to work his way back before he can return to the field.

The head coach also informed media of James Conner heading to injured reserve after injuring his MCL in Sunday’s game, but some good news is that the team is hopeful to get both Vance McDonald (shoulder) and Joe Haden (fibula) back on the field to start their preparation for the postseason run.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest injury news as the team prepares for the Texans on Christmas Day.