Antonio Brown said on his radio show last night that he intends to practice every day this week, starting today, which means he will play Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
It is probably no coincidence that the Steelers offense has struggled mightily the past three games without Brown, who had a high ankle sprain.
He was not only their leading receiver at the time he was injured; he is their best and most dependable third-down receiver. What’s more, he is the player who can be most relied on to make yards after the catch.
In the past two games, the Steelers have converted just 6 of 26 third downs, a large part of which is because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play. But a part of that, too, has been the absence of Brown.
Prior to teir injures, the Steelers were leading the league in third-down conversions, averaging nearly 55 percent. No other team was over 50 percent. Without them, they have dropped to 45.2 percent, fourth in the league.
Even when Roethlisberger played against the Chiefs, the Steelers scored only one touchdown without Brown in the lineup.
And, without Brown in the offense, Mike Wallace has been taken away by opposing defenses. He has just eight catches for 49 yards in the three games Brown hasn’t played.
There is a reason Brown was the team’s MVP last season: He is a big part of the offense, whether he’s creating opportunities for him or others.
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