That noise you just heard was the people of Pittsburgh letting out a collective sigh of relief.
Two days before the Steelers are set to host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin gave an update to one of the biggest storylines of the postseason:
Antonio Brown is expected to play.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Tomlin was asked if he thought the All-Pro receiver would play. The answer? A very Tomlin-esque, “Yes.”
Brown left the Steelers’ Week 15 game against New England on Dec. 17 after taking an ugly hit to his lower left leg. It turned out to be a partially torn calf, and Brown missed Pittsburgh’s final two games of the regular season.
Nonetheless, Brown led the NFL with 1,533 yards receiving and was one of five players with at least 100 receptions. He was named a first-team All-Pro for the fourth straight season.
When asked how much he expects Brown to contribute Sunday, Tomlin said, “I think we’ve all seen Antonio play enough that we know what he’s capable of.”
The Steelers could use all the help against the Jaguars. Jacksonville sports one of the league’s top defenses, leading the NFL in pass defense in the regular season and finishing second in interceptions and sacks, just one behind the leader in each category.
The Steelers host the Jaguars at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. The winner will face the winner of Saturday night’s game between Tennessee and New England in next week’s AFC Championship Game.
–Field Level Media