Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the third quarter against the Bengals a week ago, was listed as questionable.
"I thought he did a nice job," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said of Roethlisberger’s performance in Friday’s practice, per Steelers.com. "He did everything we asked him to do. I was very specific about what I asked him to do. I wanted to see a variety of throws. I wanted to see enough, no more."
Losing Brown, who recorded career-best numbers this season with 1,834 receiving yards, is unmistakably an enormous loss for the Steelers and their offense, but Tomlin said the team is taking it in stride, like they have with the losses of other players throughout the season.
"We got to the point where we had enough information where we knew he would be unavailable to us so we made the decision," Tomlin told Steelers.com. “We have been without people before. That is just the nature of this thing. This week will be no different from that perspective. Antonio has been a significant contributor to our efforts over the course of the season. That is life. That is this game. I am excited to watch them adjust, adapt and watch the plays come from other places.”
Roethlisberger said earlier that there's no replacing Brown, but he has full confidence that the depth behind Brown—Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sammie Coates—will step up in his absence.
"The production that he had, it’s going to take a lot of us to match that production,” Wheaton told Steelers.com. “Collectively we’re all going to have to step up. It’s an opportunity for guys like me, guys like Martavis, guys like Hey-Bey, to step up, Sammie Coates to step up and prove something. I think all of us collectively are excited about the opportunity."