It didn’t look good.
Antonio Brown suffered what appeared to be a leg injury against the Patriots after going across the middle of the end zone. As it turns out, Brown suffered a partially torn calf muscle, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’s expected to be out for the rest of the regular season, with a chance to return for the playoffs.
Brown was helped to the sideline after getting kicked in his left leg. He was then taken to the locker room after time in the injury tent. The Steelers were doing X-rays on the left leg, and ruled him questionable to return with an injury to his left calf. He would be taken to the hospital for further evaluation of the injury, and miss the rest of the game.
“We don’t expect him back tonight. I don’t have anything other than that,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Brown on the CBS broadcast, going into halftime. “We have to be prepared to go with the guys we have on the field and adjust, and they have to make some plays.”
What does this mean for the Steelers? Brown has received MVP consideration, despite not being a quarterback. Brown came into Sunday’s game with a chance at chasing the all-time receiving yardage mark in a season. He had 1,509 yards while averaging 116.1 per game. With that average, he would finish the season with 1,857 yards, and the third-best receiving season of all time.
He’s gone on a tear recently, averaging 156.8 yards in the last four weeks, including 213 yards in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. He’s been a huge part of the Steelers’ offensive success this season, just as he has the past handful of years as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
The Steelers still have other weapons out wide. JuJu Smith-Schuster has been one of the best rookies in the NFL this season, and Martavis Bryant has shown in the past he’s capable of being a big-play wide receiver.
That’s not to say they will make up all the ground lost in Brown’s absence, but there are other options out there. Of course, the Steelers will be hoping he’s back sooner rather than later.
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