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Injuries: Antonio Brown (leg) ruled out for Week 16

The question remains when the Pittsburgh Steelers will have All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown back on the field. We just know it won't be this weekend.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Brown has a significant contusion to his lower leg that will sideline him for the Steelers' Christmas Day tilt against the Houston Texans.

"He can be characterized as out this week," Tomlin said. "I don't want to frame it any other way. It's simply too early to tell. We'll see what the future of it holds at the top of next week."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday evening that Brown has a partially torn calf muscle that will keep him out for Pittsburgh's final two regular season games. Despite losing to the Patriots, the Steelers (11-3) are in a good position to earn a first-round bye.

That extra week could be the difference between Brown being available for his team's postseason opener.

Tomlin said running back James Conner will undergo knee surgery Tuesday on a damaged MCL. He was placed on injured reserve. His roster spot was filled by free-agent back Stevan Ridley. The Steelers coach added that cornerback Joe Haden (fibula) and tight end Vance McDonald (shoulder) could be available this week after missing Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.

Here are other injuries we're monitoring on Tuesday:

  1. New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead sprained his knee on Sunday, Rapoport reported per a source. However, Rapoport notes that the Patriots are optimistic Burkhead will be available for the postseason.
  1. The Denver Broncos are placing outside linebacker Shane Ray on injured reserve. Ray, who played with a cast this season, had wrist surgery last Friday to remove screws that were inserted after injuring his wrist back in training camp.
  1. The Green Bay Packers announced that they have placed quarterback Aaron Rodgersback on injured reserve. Mike McCarthy said Davante Adams is in the concussion protocol. McCarthy said he had a chance to visit with Adams and said he "looks good, sounds good."
  1. NFL Network's Jane Slater reports that Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is dealing with a sprained knee.
  1. The Los Angeles Chargers announced that they have placed tight end Hunter Henryon injured reserve. He suffered a small laceration on his kidney during the team's loss to the Chiefs.
  1. Saints linebacker A.J. Klein underwent surgery recently on a core muscle, Rapoport reported. He will rehab for six weeks and be fine for the offseason, Rapoport added.
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