Antonio Brown was sent home from Steelers practice Friday [url=http://www.miamidolphinsteamonline.com]Dolphins Authentic Jerseys[/url] , 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, 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 [url=http://www.minnesotavikingsteamonline.com]Vikings Authentic Jerseys[/url] , separately, expressed they would play.
”I’m feeling good; I did all of my reps today in practice,” 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, 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 [url=http://www.newenglandpatriotsteamonline.com]Patriots Authentic Jerseys[/url] ,” 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.”
Aaron Nola never gets flustered, even when he’s riding a stationary bike while the closer fights to protect the lead.
Nola struck out 10 in another dominant performance, Scott Kingery hit a three-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Seranthony Dominguez escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth for his third save.
”I just take it pitch by pitch,” Nola said.
Nola (8-2) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.27. He has given up three runs or less in 13 of 14 starts.
”He’s a special kind of competitor,” manager Gabe Kapler said. ”He’s fun to watch.”
Nola left after striking out Ian Desmond with runners on first and third. Edubray Ramos entered and gave up a bloop RBI single to Tom Murphy before recording the third out. Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless eighth. But Luis Garcia allowed four consecutive singles to start the ninth. He departed after Murphy’s RBI single cut it to 5-2.
Dominguez entered and gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta. DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly cut it to 5-4. But right fielder Aaron Altherr ran down Charlie Blackmon’s hard liner for the second out and Dominguez struck out Nolan Arenado to end it.
”I was thankful to get the job done [url=http://www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.com]Saints Authentic Jerseys[/url] ,” Dominguez said.
Kapler called Altherr’s running catch a ”game-saver.”
”That play was sensational,” he said.
Kingery drove a 1-2 pitch from Jon Gray (6-7) out to left-center to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the first. He added a sacrifice fly in the third.
Gray surrendered four runs on only three hits in six innings. He also fanned 10.
”I had no rhythm early and it cost me,” Gray said.
Jesmuel Valentin’s pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth extended Philadelphia’s lead to 5-1.
The Phillies have won two in a row for the first time since a three-game winning streak May 13-17.
The Rockies have lost five straight and nine of 11.
After starting at five positions, Kingery has taken over as Philadelphia’s regular shortstop despite batting only .215. J.P. Crawford has moved to third base since returning from the disabled list and has started five straight games instead of Maikel Franco.
”It’s been a process,” Kingery said. ”Just trying to go step by step to where I feel better in the box.”
WHIFFS
This was the first time a Phillies starter and opposing starter each struck out 10 or more in the same game since April 25, 2011, at Arizona when Cliff Lee had 12 and Ian Kennedy had 10.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez was back in the lineup after missing two games with a rib issue. … RHP Adam Ottavino threw a live batting practice session. He has been sidelined by a left oblique strain.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff received a cortisone shot in his right wrist on Monday. Eickhoff hasn’t pitched this season. … Reliever Pat Neshek threw a bullpen session Tuesday. He began the season on the DL with a shoulder strain and sustained a flexor strain in his elbow during rehab. … Utilityman Pedro Florimon could return in September after breaking his right foot during the team’s recent road trip.
UP NEXT
RHP Nick Pivetta (4-5, 3.76 ERA) starts for the Phillies while LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.81) goes for the Rockies in the middle game Wednesday night.