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Brown: 'You have to stay tuned'

The Steelers had a bonus day of practice on Monday, and for Antonio Brown it was his first time back on the field since suffering a calf injury against the New England Patriots on Dec. 17.

"It went pretty smooth," said Brown. "I am excited to be out there with the guys. I am grateful to be on my feet. There is still a lot to test. It's the first day of the week. There is a lot of room to grow and improve.

"We'll see how it goes, how we progress. I feel I was able to get through practice. I still have to get a little better, but it felt good to be out there. I was able to move around a little bit, get in the flow of things. I still have plenty of room to grow."

Brown, who said he took part in the majority of the drills on Monday, didn't give any definitive indication if he will be ready to play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Round Game at Heinz Field or if he will be 100 percent, but you can rest assured he will do everything in his power to be out there.  

"We'll see. You have to stay tuned," said Brown. "I am not trying to measure things and give you guys a synopsis of how I'll be. If I am out there I am going to give the team my all. I am going to be who I am, be my best self and give the team my best foot forward. I have to continue to get better. Preparation is everything. I have to keep the week going positive.

"It's the playoffs. You have to do whatever it takes."  

Doing whatever it takes for Brown meant spending time during the team's bye week working on his rehab in Florida, with former NFL receiver Chad Johnson working with him one of the days.

"I always call him out to the field when I am training to get some fundamental work," said Brown. "It was the first time cutting in a while. I let him see my movements. He is one of my close friends, someone I have a lot of respect for."

For Brown the last few weeks have been frustrating, as he is a player who hates to just sit back and watch. He is a maniacal worker, and not being able to do anything was challenging.

"It was adversity," said Brown. "You play this game long enough you are going to have adversity. It sucked. I didn't want to get injured. It's hard trying to fight back and get on your feet. It's part of the process. Those are things you have to grow from.

"I am grateful to be in the situation we are in. Being injured is not fun. Especially not knowing. I am grateful to be here today. I never count myself out, regardless of circumstances. I know playing football you are going to have to have adversity and have to grow from it."

Brown had plenty of words of praise for the rest of the receivers, who stepped up in his absence, and helped earn a playoff bye week with a win over the Texans.

"I think the young guys did a great job stepping up and making plays," said Brown. "Buying some time with the victory with the bye week. Those guys have been dynamic putting points on the board and coming through for the team."

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