Antonio Brown misses Friday practice with illness ahead of Jaguars-Steelers rematch

Antonio Brown missed the final two games of the regular season with a torn calf muscle though the hope was that he would be healthy enough to play this Sunday in the Steelers' divisional-round matchup against the Jaguars. After being a full practice participant on Thursday, Brown had a setback on Friday.

The league's best wide receiver missed practice with an illness and was sent home. That's the bad news. The good news is that he's expected to play on Sunday, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly.

"I didn't want him to get any of the guys who weren't sick sick," coach Mike Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We'll bring [Brown] 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 was one of the few bright spots for the Steelers when the two teams met in Week 5. The Jaguars forced Ben Roethlisberger into five interceptions -- including two pick-sixes -- and running back Leonard Fournette rumbled for 181 yards. Brown, meanwhile, had 10 catches for 157 yards.

And on Monday, he sounded very much like someone who wouldn't miss the rematch.

"It's the playoffs. You have to do whatever it takes," Brown told "I am grateful to be in the situation we are in. Being injured is not fun. Especially not knowing. I am grateful to be here today. I never count myself out, regardless of circumstances. I know playing football you are going to have to have adversity and have to grow from it."

How important is Brown to the Steelers' offense? Even Jaguars second-year, all-world cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who has been known to trash-talk opponents, has only praise for the wide receiver.

"Antonio is one of the best receivers in the league," Ramsey said this week. "He can about do it all, honestly. Good routes, good hands, just a good player, man. Knows how to play ball."

There's more good news for the Steelers, who are 7-point favorites: Starting cornerback Artie Burns, who suffered a hyperextended knee earlier in the week, is also expected to play, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

In case you're wondering, seven of eight experts predict the Steelers will beat the Jaguars.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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