The Steelers plan to play without their leading receiver and punt returner when they meet the Chiefs on Monday night.
Antonio Brown, who suffered a sprained left ankle on Sunday against the Giants, is unlikely to play against the Chiefs, coach Mike Tomlin said. Tomlin said that the injury limits Brown’s “short-term quickness,” and it’s tough for a receiver and punt returner to play when an ankle injury is slowing him down. Brown leads the Steelers with 42 catches and is their primary punt returner, but they’ll be in good hands with Emmanuel Sanders getting more reps at receiver and taking over the returns while Brown is out. Sanders played well at both receiver and punt returner against the Giants after Brown went down.
Tomlin wouldn’t say so, but the Steelers may also be calculating that they can beat the Chiefs without Brown, and they’d much rather play it safe with him this week so that he can be closer to 100 percent for the following week’s AFC North showdown with the Ravens.
Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer has a good chance of playing this week after missing the Giants game with a quad injury, Tomlin said, but running back Rashard Mendenhall may miss another game with an Achilles injury.
Tomlin also said that Ravens game could mark the return of safety Troy Polamalu, who has missed most of the season with a calf injury.