Antonio Brown has been ruled out for the Pittsburgh Steelers' AFC divisional playoff game Sunday against the Denver Broncos after suffering a concussion during the team's wildcard game against the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend.
Running back DeAngelo Williams was also declared out for Sunday's game with an ankle/foot injury. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is questionable with a sprained right shoulder.
It's pretty certain this means Brown wasn't faking his injury after taking a hard hit to the head from Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict late in the fourth quarter of that Steelers' victory. Burfict was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, one of two such calls against the Bengals on the play, helping the Steelers move into position for the game-winning field goal.
Since that game, Cincinnati's Adam "Pacman" Jones has accused Brown of faking the injury, saying the Steelers receiver winked at him as he was leaving the field. During a Showtime interview on Tuesday, Jones said he would apologize to Brown if he ended up being unable to play this week due to a concussion.
Jones made good on his word Friday afternoon, issuing an apology to Brown with a video on Instagram. "I apologize, sincerely," Jones said. "Get well."
Chances are, though, that probably won't make anyone in Pittsburgh feel much better.
Brown's 1,834 receiving yards during the regular season were second in the NFL to the 1,871 from Atlanta's Julio Jones. Brown also scored 10 touchdowns during the regular season. When the Steelers beat Denver, 34-27, last month, Brown caught 16 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Roethlisberger was also injured on a Burfict hit during the wildcard playoff game. He eventually returned to the game and led the Steelers on a game-winning drive but was severely limited by the injury.
He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but took part in full on Friday.