The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with multiple injuries heading into the divisional round playoff game against the Denver Broncos, with Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown all banged up. Brown and Williams have already been ruled out for the game, while Roethlisberger could be in question to play on Sunday.
The Steelers held practice on Thursday and Roethlisberger was a limited participant in the session, according to Jeremy Fowler at ESPN. Roethlisberger said that he was able to do some throwing during practice, but when asked about his status for the game on Sunday, Roethlisberger deferred to head coach Mike Tomlin. Roethlisberger is coming into the game with a shoulder sprain and the quarterback also has torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder. Roethlisberger is listed as questionable for the game heading into the weekend, according to ESPN.com.
Bob Holtzman at ESPN reported earlier in the week that Roethlisberger is "very likely" to play against the Broncos and that the Steelers were "optimistic" about his status. That report came out before the news about the torn ligaments and that could be a major factor in whether Roethlisberger plays or not. Roethlisberger missed practice on Wednesday, but even getting a limited session on Thursday is a positive sign for the quarterback.
Antonio Brown was ruled out for the game on Sunday, with the team announcing that the wide receiver will sit after not being cleared out of the NFL concussion protocol. Brown suffered the concussion last week in the wild card game against the Bengals after a hit from linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Brown was in question to play all week and was unable to practice and now he is officially out for the Broncos matchup.
The team announced on Friday that DeAngelo Williams will be out for the game against the Broncos, making it two straight games missed for the running back. Williams was injured in Week 17 of the season and has not recovered enough to play on Sunday. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman will play in place of Williams after stepping in for the running back last week against the Bengals. Williams visited with a foot specialist this week, but he clearly did not recover enough for the team to keep him active against Denver.
Landry Jones is prepared to play or start if Roethlisberger is limited or out on Sunday, as PennLive.com reports that Jones got work with the first team offense on Thursday. The report also says that Michael Vick got some work with the first team in preparation for the game against the Broncos.