Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has his reception attempt broken up by Baltimore Ravens' Lardarious Webb in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on November 6, 2016. Baltimore won the game 21-14. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- With the playoffs just a week away, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't taking any chances.
The Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le'Veon Bell Sunday. The trio was declared inactive prior to its 1 p.m. game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
Last week, Tomlin hinted at the move.
"There are several guys I'll look hard at preserving and protecting and getting into the playoff round with the understanding that we are a No. 3 seed," Tomlin told reporters. "Guys like Ben will get that consideration. Le'Veon Bell will get that consideration. It'll be nice to take Le'Veon Bell into a playoff stadium. That's something we haven't been able to do in either of the last two years. Antonio Brown. It'll be nice to take Antonio into a playoff stadium. We went to Denver last year without Antonio. That's not quite as fun as doing it with Antonio. Maurkice Pouncey is another guy. I've been in playoff stadiums without Maurkice Pouncey. I've been in the Super Bowl without Maurkice Pouncey. It's more fun to do it with Maurkice Pouncey."
"So, those are some of the guys I'll give consideration to, and if I get an opportunity to deem those guys inactive, then I will."
Roethlisberger finishes the season with 3,819 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Bell, one of the most dynamic backs in football, has 1,884 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns for the Steelers this season. Brown has 1,284 yards and 12 scores on a league-leading 106 receptions.