The Steelers won't just be without their top receiving threat, but they'll also be without their top rushing threat, as well. Wide receiver Antonio Brown was ruled out with a concussion Friday morning, and running back DeAngelo Williams was also ruled out later on Friday with a foot injury.
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."
The countdown to gameday is at three days, and the Broncos continued their practice work to prepare for Pittsburgh. (photos by Ben Swanson)
With Williams out for a second straight week in the postseason, the Steelers will be forced to rely upon backups Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman, who combined for 183 yards from scrimmage (123 rushing, 60 receiving) against Cincinnati.
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."