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Steelers' Antonio Brown to share punt returns with Dri Archer

Mike Tomlin announced that Antonio Brown will still be returning punts for the Pittsburgh Steelers but will be sharing those duties with rookie Dri Archer.

Justin K. Aller

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dri Archer in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft, many thought Antonio Brown's days of returning punts were over. When Mike Tomlin addressed the media at his weekly press conference Tuesday, he made it clear the punt-return duties would be shared between the rookie and the Pro Bowl wide receiver.

As the Steelers prepare for the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, in addition to naming Brown and Archer as punt returners, Tomlin stated that Archer and LeGarrette Blount would handle the kickoff-return duties.

Simply put, Tomlin stated that Brown is a Pro Bowl returner and this isn't something the team will ignore strictly to avoid potential injury.

It begs the question of how the team will utilize Brown in the punt-return game. The best comparison would be Santonio Holmes' time with the team, when he was used only in certain situations in the return game. For example, when a fair catch is required deep in Steelers' territory, or if they need a big return at a crucial juncture of a game.

The Steelers very well could follow that same methodology for utilizing Brown in the punt-return game in 2014. Doing so would still allow Archer to get his touches and be a possible threat to break a big return anytime the football is in his hands.