Brown is almost one month removed from a partially torn calf muscle that occurred against the Patriots on Dec. 17. He did not play in the final two games of the regular season, and only returned to practice this week.
Brown did not practice on Friday due to illness and was sent home for the day, according to Tomlin. However, he was a full participant in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. His teammates have maintained for several weeks that they believed Brown would be back for the playoffs, and Tomlin said he had seen enough out of Brown’s two practices. “I think we’ve all seen Antonio play enough that we know what he’s capable of,” Tomlin said.
Brown led the NFL with 1,533 receiving yards despite playing in only 14 games and ranked fourth in the NFL with nine receiving touchdowns in 2017. He was the league’s only unanimous All-Pro this season.
Brown described the calf injury that sent him to the hospital during the game as a scary one.
“As soon as the incident happened, with an MRI, and we’re in a police car right to the hospital — I’m pretty grateful,” he told reporters on Monday. [I] can grow from this experience. No man playing this game has never had adversity. I’m glad I’m able to be on my feet today talking to you guys.”