Shark Bites

The Steelers have used their franchise tag on RB Le'Veon Bell for the 2nd straight year. The 2 parties have been discussing a long-term contract but have yet to come to an agreement. They now have until July 16 to do so. Otherwise, Bell will play 2018 on a 1-year deal that will pay him $14.5 million. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported earlier this week that Bell will "likely" skip training camp without a long-term contract. He did that last year and got off to a relatively slow start, totaling 236 yards and 1 TD over his first 3 games.

The Steelers have promoted QB coach Randy Fichtner to OC. He's been with the team since 2010 and reportedly has a good relationship with QB Ben Roethlisberger. The continuity is good news for Pittsburgh's offense.

The Steelers will not bring back OC Todd Haley, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Haley led the Steelers to top 10 finishes in both total yards and points in each of the past 4 seasons. But he's had a rocky relationship with QB Ben Roethlisberger. We'll see who Pittsburgh tabs to replace Haley.

11:01am EST 1/14/18

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf) is officially active for today's game against the Jaguars. So pregame warmups evidently went well enough. Brown remains a risk/reward fantasy play at less than 100% in a tough matchup.

A source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that Steelers WR Antonio Brown's calf is "not close to 100%." He'll test it in pregame warmups and is expected to "give it a go" against the Jaguars, the source said. But Brown's effectiveness and ability to make it through the game are now in question. He's a tournament-only play in DFS.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf, illness) participated in Saturday's walkthrough and looked healthy, teammates told NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala. Brown was sent home sick on Friday. He put in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday, which means the calf shouldn't be a major issue. He's a nice DFS tournament play with what figures to be depressed ownership. hears that Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf, illness) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's Divisional Round meeting with the Jaguars. Brown missed Friday's practice with an illness, but PFT reports the calf "remains an issue." HC Mike Tomlin didn't express much concern on Friday afternoon, saying he didn't “have a lot of reservations about [Brown] from a physical health standpoint.” We'll continue to keep an eye on this situation -- and will get Brown's official status around noon ET on Sunday.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars -- not with his calf injury, but with an illness. Brown put in full workouts on Wednesday and Thursday, so the calf shouldn't be an issue. The illness kept him out of Friday's practice but shouldn't be a factor come Sunday. We'll keep an eye on him into the weekend, though.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf) was a full-go in Monday's practice, HC Mike Tomlin said. It's confirmation that he'll be ready for his usual role against the Jaguars this weekend. Brown turned 19 targets into a 10-157 line vs. Jacksonville back in October.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Steelers WR Antonio Brown will be at 100% for Sunday's Divisional Round game against the Jaguars. He'll be 4 weeks removed from the calf strain at that point. Brown posted a 10-157 line on 19 targets vs. Jacksonville's league-best pass defense back in October.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that WR Antonio Brown's recovery from his calf strain is "going well." Tomlin added that Brown would be questionable if Pittsburgh was playing this weekend. That seemingly puts him on track to be ready for the Divisional Round, but we'll continue to track his progress.

The Steelers made DE Cameron Heyward a healthy scratch for today's regular-season finale against the Browns.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell are officially inactive for today's game against the Browns. QB Landry Jones draws the start. Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint will handle backfield duties.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell won't play in today's finale against the Browns. QB Landry Jones will draw the start, with Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint handling backfield duties. It's unclear how much WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant will play.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell were held out of Friday's practice for non-injury reasons. It's more evidence that they won't play in this weekend's finale against the Browns. We just removed both guys from the Week 17 rankings. QB Landry Jones figures to start for Pittsburgh, with RBs Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint splitting backfield work.

Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Tim Benz that QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell won't play against the Browns this weekend. We haven't heard anything from the team or any major media sources, but this wouldn't be a total surprise. The Steelers have at least clinched the AFC's #2 seed and can only climb to #1 if the Patriots lose at home to the Jets. We'll continue to monitor this situation -- and will get the Steelers' inactives by noon ET on Sunday.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (calf) is not expected to be ready for the Wild Card round of the playoffs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Pittsburgh can avoid playing in that round by winnings its final 2 games against the Texans and Browns. But this report raises the question of whether Brown will be available for the Divisional Round. We'll continue to keep a close eye on his status for those of you playing in postseason fantasy contests.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin confirmed on Tuesday that WR Antonio Brown (calf) is out for this weekend's game against the Texans. Tomlin said Brown is dealing with a "significant contusion." He wouldn't speculate about Brown's status beyond Week 16, but previous reports have him unlikely to play in the regular-season finale. The Steelers should be able to knock off Houston and Cleveland without their #1 WR. Brown's absence leaves JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers as Pittsburgh's top 3 WRs.

Steelers RB James Conner needs surgery on the knee he injured in Sunday's loss to the Patriots, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports. There's no set timeline for his return yet, but the rookie is expected to miss "at least a few weeks." Fitzgerald Toussaint will step in as the #2 RB -- but, of course, the Steelers will continue to ride Le'Veon Bell the rest of the way.

Update: Conner has been placed on IR and is done for the season. He's reportedly dealing with a torn MCL.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Steelers WR Antonio Brown has a "partially torn" calf muscle. Brown is "unlikely" to play against the Texans next Monday, per Schefter, but is expected back for the playoffs. It's relatively good news for Pittsburgh but a tough break for fantasy owners who advance to Week 16. Assuming Brown is out, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers figure to serve as the Steelers' top 3 WRs in a plus matchup vs. Houston.


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