The Pittsburgh Steelers will be preparing to play the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the AFC Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, but will have to do so without the top wide receiver in the NFL. Antonio Brown, who has suffered from a concussion since being hit by Vontaze Burfict in the AFC Wild Card game, has officially been ruled out for the upcoming game.
Antonio Brown has officially been ruled out for Denver because of concussion. Could not pass test.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 15, 2016
The news comes on the heels of the team being hopeful of his possible return against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, but it turns out the head injury was too severe for him to return after just a week of recovery.
There was a great deal of criticism regarding Brown's head injury, mainly from Cincinnati Bengals' CB Adam Jones, and the thought he was could possibly be faking the injury, but today those claims seem to be as far-fetched as they were when they were spoken.
The Steelers will miss Brown greatly in this game, especially with Ben Roethlisberger possibly being hindered with a shoulder injury which could have him limited in his pass attempts. Brown and Roethlisberger have an uncanny connection, which will have to be replaced by Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey and now Sammie Coates.
Not only is Brown the team's top wide receiver, but he is also the team's punt returner. Those duties will be taken over by Wheaton this Sunday.
You don't replace 130 receptions overnight, but the Steelers are hopeful they can win another game to hopefully give Brown a chance to end his season the way he wanted, and not by watching on the sidelines.