Brown, Polamalu Named To Pro Bowl

Troy Polamalu (Shamus/Getty Images)

The Pro Bowl may be venturing into carnival territory by employing "fantasy champions" to pick sides, but it still means something on paper ...

... to those who are chosen.

Antonio Brown and Troy Polamalu can again add the honor to their resumes. The two were chosen Friday night to represent the Steelers on Jan. 26 in Honolulu.

For the first time, the game will be "unconferenced" in a decision to allow "two NFL.com fantasy football champions," along with the two leading vote-getters and Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, to place Brown and Polamalu and the others on a team.

Brown, who was selected as both a wide receiver and punt returner but will be "drafted" as a wide receiver, has been chosen to the Pro Bowl for the second time.

Brown has career highs in receptions (101), receiving yards (1,412) and receiving touchdowns (8)with one game remaining this season. He was named the team's Most Valuable Player earlier this week.

Polamalu, who had said earlier this season that he hopes to fulfill the final year of his contract in 2014 with the Steelers, was chosen to his eighth Pro Bowl, thus becoming the seventh player in team history to be named to eight Pro Bowls.

The others are: Joe Greene (10), Ernie Stautner, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert and Mike Webster (9), and Jack Ham (8).

Polamalu intercepted his 32nd career pass earlier this season to put him in a tie for seventh place on the team's all-time list. He also recorded his fifth career defensive touchdown, which is tied for second place on the team's all-time list. Polamalu also has forced a career-high five fumbles this season, which puts him in a tie for fourth in the NFL.

APPROACHING MILESTONES

* Brown needs 11 receptions in this final game to tie Hines Ward's team record of 112 receptions in one season.

* Ben Roethlisberger needs 247 passing yards to break his own team record of 4,329 passing yards in a season.

* Le'Veon Bell needs seven receptions to tie John L. Williams with 51 receptions, the most by a running back in team history.

* Heath Miller needs two touchdowns to tie Buddy Dial ()42) for the fourth-most receiving touchdowns in team history.

* Jason Worilds needs two sacks to become the first Steelers defender since 2010 to record 10 sacks in a season.

INJURY REPORT

Worilds (abdomen) is questionable for Sunday's game, as is WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee). The only Steeler ruled out has been rookie Terence Garvin (knee), who started last week at one of the ILB positions.

Chris Carter and Stevenson Sylvester would replace Worilds outside and rookie Vince Williams would replace Garvin's snaps inside in the base defense.

The Browns have a significant injury list, starting with massive DT Phil Taylor, who has been ruled out with a concussion. The Browns will also be without Jason Pinkston (concussion), who had been playing left guard in place of starter John Greco.

Greco (knee) is questionable, as are TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), CB Joe Haden (hip), and starting right guard Shawn Lauvao (thigh). RDE John Hughes (knee, elbow), who started two of the last three games in the Browns' 3-4 package, is doubtful.

STOPPING THE FLASH

Browns WR Josh Gordon missed the first two games of the season due to suspension but he leads the NFL in receiving yards (1,564), average yards per catch (19.6), and average yards per game (120). He caught 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' previous game against the Steelers, as the Browns outgained the Steelers 367-302 in a 27-11 loss.

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was asked about defending Gordon.

"Make sure that we know where he is," LeBeau said. "A lot of people have tried to do that but he's leading the league in yardage, so he's an outstanding player."

LeBeau said that cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen will man their respective right and left sides, as has been the team's approach the last few weeks after using Taylor the past several years to shadow opponents' No. 1 receivers.

"We just wanted to settle the defense down," LeBeau said. "We didn't think we were playing anywhere near our capability and we thought that might help settle us down. I think to some extent it has, so we've just stayed with that formula."

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