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|Antonio Brown was sent home from Steelers practice Friday Rashaan Gaulden Color Rush Jersey , but it wasn’t because of the calf injury he’s been nursing for the past four weeks.
Brown was a full practice participant all week, but coach Mike Tomlin said Brown fell ill Friday. So Tomlin kept him away from the team two days prior to the Steelers’ divisional round playoff game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On their official injury report released late Friday afternoon, the Steelers listed Brown as questionable to play Sunday.
”I didn’t want him to get any of the guys who weren’t sick, sick,” Tomlin said. ”We’ll bring him back in the building (Saturday) and continue with his game readiness. We don’t have a lot of reservations about him from a physical health standpoint. We do need to get him well from an illness standpoint.”
Brown hasn’t played since he left a Dec. 17 game against the New England Patriots in the second quarter because of a contusion in his lower left leg. He returned to practice Monday and remains in line to appear in his 10th playoff game Sunday at Heinz Field.
Questions swirled surrounding the status of three other Steelers starters, but each of those defensive players on Friday insisted he will play against the Jaguars. Cornerback Artie Burns returned after sustaining a non-contact right knee injury Wednesday Billy Price Color Rush Jersey , defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned after an elbow injury limited him Wednesday and prevented him from practicing Thursday, and defensive lineman Javon Hargrave (back) came back after taking Thursday off.
Also, Tomlin said backup offensive lineman B.J. Finney (thigh injury sustained in the regular-season finale) was a full participant in practice for the second straight day.
Tomlin said he expects all his injured players to be available Sunday. The Steelers listed none on the ”play status” portion of their injury report, and each of them, separately, expressed they would play.
”I’m feeling good; I did all of my reps today in practice Sam Hubbard Color Rush Jersey ,” Burns said. ”I should be 100 percent (Sunday). I felt good out there. All of my movements were good. I feel like I was able to run with good speed. I just have to keep doing therapy and I’ll be good.”
Burns, like Tuitt, emerged from practice with a sizable wrap on the affected body part. But when asked if he was playing Sunday, Tuitt’s answer was, ”No doubt.”
”It went great today,” Tuitt also said. ”I moved my arm really well Malik Jefferson Color Rush Jersey , pushed offensive line back. It felt great.”
Hargrave downplayed the significance of suddenly missing a practice three days before a playoff game.
”I just didn’t practice (Thursday), that’s all,” he said.
”I’m good. Ain’t nothing serious, I’m pretty sure,” Hargrave said. ”It really wasn’t too big; I just needed some rest, really. I practiced (Friday) and it was pretty good.”
The Chicago Bears are parting with veteran guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
Two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday the Bears have decided to decline their option on Sitton for next season and release Freeman. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the moves.
A four-time Pro Bowl lineman Mark Walton Color Rush Jersey , the 31-year-old Sitton spent the past two seasons in Chicago after an eight-year run with Green Bay. He signed with the Bears after the Packers released him just before the 2016 season. Sitton dealt with rib and ankle injuries last season and missed three games.
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The 31-year-old Freeman suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the opener last year and was suspended for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs in each of his two seasons with the Bears. The second violation resulted in a 10-game suspension in late October.
Freeman said on Twitter at the time that he also suffered a potentially career-ending concussion in the opener, providing context to the drug violation. He said he downplayed the severity of his head injury to family and friends.
Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles in 2016 despite serving a four-game suspension for his first violation. He played for Indianapolis from 2012-15.
The Bears went 5-11 last season and finished last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. Chicago fired coach John Fox and replaced him with Matt Nagy.
NFL Network first reported the Bears are declining Sitton’s option, while Pro Football Talk was first with the news on Freeman.
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