PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Antonio Brown was able to participate in most team drills during Monday’s practice in advance of Sunday’s AFC divisional round playoff game against Jacksonville.
Brown missed the final two games of the regular season after injuring his left calf muscle in Pittsburgh’s 27-24 loss to New England on Dec. 17.
“Felt pretty smooth,” said Brown, who still finished the season as the NFL leader in receiving yards. “A little room to grow, but I’m excited to be out there with the guys and grateful to be out there on my feet.”
A unanimous All-Pro selection, Brown’s return gives a boost to the Steelers offense as it looks to avenge a dismal showing in a 30-9 loss to the Jaguars in October.
A year ago, Brown had 18 catches for 309 yards and two touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s three playoff games.
“It looked like Antonio Brown,” right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “Electric, fast, quick, all the above. This guy’s an unbelievable player. Just to have him out there on the field was a sense of comfort and a lot of guys are happy to see him out there.”
Brown’s moves in practice impressed corner Joe Haden, who shadowed the Steelers wideout during some team drills.
“AB is nice,” Haden said. “If he’s out there though, I expect him to be AB. He’s not going to be out there just gimping around. When he was running, he looked pretty good. He looked like AB.”
A victory Sunday could very well give Brown and his teammates another shot at a Patriots team that prevented them from home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs.
“Find a way to win,” Brown added. “That’s all that matters right now is that we get a win… It’s the playoffs. You got to do what it takes.”