Four weeks after suffering a partially torn left calf muscle, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has returned to practice, and his teammates said Wednesday the four-time All-Pro looks as good as ever.
As the Steelers are preparing for their first playoff game, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brown was on the practice field, and after, the team listed him as a full participant in the session.
Running back Le’Veon Bell said of Brown, “It doesn’t look like he’s missed time. At all.”
And rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster said Brown looked, “amazing, like he hasn’t skipped a beat.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said only, “awesome,” when asked about Brown’s return.
Brown also practiced on Monday, but there was no indication of how well he did, especially from coach Mike Tomlin. During a Wednesday morning conference call with Jaguars media members, Tomlin was asked about Brown.
Via Florida Times-Union reporter Ryan O’Halloran, here’s how the exchange went:
O’Halloran: “How is Antonio Brown moving around?”
Tomlin: “We haven’t practiced yet today.”
O’Halloran: “You practiced Monday.”
Tomlin: “I’m not required to release a participation report for that day.”
Which is true; for games on Sundays, teams must release injury and participation reports on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Brown has posted a couple of updates on his progress on social media, so it’s not hard to believe he returned to practice basically back to 100 percent. On Christmas Eve, seven days after his injury, he shared video of himself walking barefoot:
To all my teammates i am doing my best to get back and join the group I miss you guys @steelers travel like the world champions you are today ! Happy Holidays see ya soon 1-0 this week ! #callgod #Firststepin7days #Boomin @moveu_official pic.twitter.com/nnc2YbI0Lf
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) December 24, 2017
And on Sunday, he was running routes against friend Chad Ochocinco:
Despite playing in just 13 full games in the regular season, Brown was named to his fourth straight Associated Press All-Pro first team this week. He had 101 catches for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns.