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Antonio Brown's concussion has ruled him out Sunday vs. Broncos

Pittsburgh's star wide receiver wasn't able to pass the NFL's concussion protocol after the wicked hit he suffered last Saturday.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

To the surprise of no one, except Adam Jones, Antonio Brown is out.

The Pittsburgh Steelers ruled their star wide receiver will not play in the AFC Divisional playoff game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

There was much speculation after Brown got a wicked hit from Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict last Saturday. It was clear to just about everyone that Brown suffered a brutal concussion, it was just a matter of if he would get through the mandatory protocol to play this weekend. It became clear as the week went on that would not happen.

Jones, the other knucklehead from the Bengals who cost his team, said Brown was faking it. The Cincy cornerback said he would apologize if Brown didn't play.

Apology in 3 ... 2 ...

Regardless, this is huge news for both Pittsburgh and Denver. The last time these two teams met, Brown torched the Broncos and used Chris Harris Jr. like a rented mule. Brown finished with 16 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

Yet even with Brown out, Denver has to block out this noise.

As I said a few days ago, the Broncos have to do their job. What happens in Pittsburgh has no bearing on the Broncos. There are still other weapons Denver has to stop, and guys who can just as easily torch this defense again.

A lot of people are saying Harris is breathing a sigh of relief because of this news.

No way.

Harris is as fierce a competitor Denver has, and he was embarrassed the last time these teams played. Not to mention he views himself as the best in the NFL at what he does. Rest assured that Harris wanted another crack at Brown.

Of course, now the speculation will turn to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his shoulder. Will he try to "tough" it out? Or will Pittsburgh turn to Landy Jones?

What we do know is Brown will not play.