Pittsburgh Steelers All-pro wide receiver Antonio Brown returned Tuesday for the team’s walkthrough session following a five-day absence while nursing an undisclosed injury.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Brown would not practice but is expected to return to the practice field after Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“He won’t be playing in the game. He is getting closer to return in terms of his health,” Tomlin said.
“But he won’t be playing in the game like some of the others who missed time because of a myriad of injuries…whether it’s Bud Dupree in the protocol or T.J. [Watt]…he won’t’ play this week…look forward to getting him back out there when we get back from Philadelphia.”
Brown should have time over the weekend and next week to get in some practice repetitions before the Steelers’ second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 16, notably with extra days to recover.
Meanwhile, Brown, like many players around the league at this time of the year, is dealing with the bumps and bruises typically associated with training camp.
Tomlin plans to play three backup quarterbacks — Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs and third-round rookie Mason Rudolph — but the flow of the game will dictate the direction of that plan.
When questioned about Rudolph’s progress, Tomlin gave positive marks but wants to see him in game action.
“Mason’s done a really good job, but again, he hasn’t been hit,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers have a new offensive coordinator, Rodney Fichtner, which may prompt the team to apply a cautious strategy ahead of the regular season.