Will Antonio Brown play for the Steelers vs. Bengals?

Will Antonio Brown play for the Steelers vs. Bengals?

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if we see a pretty good helping of fullback Roosevelt Nix in this game, who also got a decent amount of playing time the last time these two teams faced each other.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals are two entirely different teams this season. The latter is coming back from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week's game, but is second on the team with five touchdown receptions. Typically when a player missed those final workouts they are out as far as head coach Mike Tomlin is concerned. Even if he does play don't be shocked if the Steelers do their best to distribute the workload and Brown doesn't play every snap. Brown would seem to be an obvious exception if he is healthy enough to go.

The Steelers are now 9-2 and are pushing to make the playoffs as the top seed in the AFC while the Bengals, who are 5-6, are trying to make the playoffs through a wild-card win.

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Brown's importance to the Steelers offense is obvious, and the Steelers have a lot to play for. The Steelers will be expected to beat the Bengals with or without Brown, but it clearly gets a lot harder without their superstar receiver. Steelers fans want him to play.

With the lowest AFC wild-card placeholders – Baltimore and Buffalo – only one victory ahead of them entering Sunday, at 6-5, the Bengals have about as much of a chance as any of the riffraff hovering just above or below.500 entering December. How often has the release of an inactive list been this anticipated?

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (toe) remains a game-time decision for Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals, but there is "optimism" he will play, reports Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.