The Steelers will rest key starters Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns, including Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell, the team announced Sunday.
Roethlisberger, Bell, defensive end Cameron Heyward and guard David DeCastro are among the inactives for the game.
The news comes with little surprise as Big Ben and Bell sat out practice Friday for non-injury related reasons. Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert also let the cat out of the bag earlier in the week.
Landry Jones will take over under center for Roethlisberger. Jones started the season finale against the Browns last season, compiling 24 completions on 37 attempts for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the win. Jones owns a career 59.9 percent completion percentage with a 7.5 yards per attempt average, seven touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 appearances, including four starts.
Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint are expected to share backfield snaps in place of Bell. The Pro Bowl running back entered this week 14 yards behind Todd Gurley for the league-lead in rushing yards.
With Antonio Brown still nursing a calf injury, the Steelers will be without their top three offensive players against the winless Browns.
Despite having a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC if the New England Patriots lose to the New York Jets, Mike Tomlin's main goal for Sunday is getting out of 2017 as healthy as possible for a playoff run. The Steelers have dealt with injuries to the Killer Bs in each of their last three playoff runs:
2014: Bell (knee) did not play in wild-card round loss to BAL
2015: Bell (knee) missed entire playoffs; Brown (concussion) did not play in Divisional Round loss at DEN
2016: Le'Veon Bell (groin) knocked out of AFC Championship loss to NE in first half
Brown is expected to be ready to go for the Divisional Round, per Rapoport. Pittsburgh wants to ensure Bell and Roethlisberger join him as healthy as possible.