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Brown nears return as Steelers get set for rematch with Jaguars

Even as he sat in the back of a police car sprinting to the hospital to get a precise prognosis on his injured left calf while the Pittsburgh Steelers played on without him during a loss to New England three weeks ago, Antonio Brown always believed he’d be back. (AP photo)

PITTSBURGH — Even as he sat in the back of a police car sprinting to the hospital to get a precise prognosis on his injured left calf while the Pittsburgh Steelers played on without him during a loss to New England three weeks ago, Antonio Brown always believed he’d be back.

He just needed time.

When his teammates provided it by assuring the AFC North champions of a first-round bye, Brown pushed his rehab.

By last weekend video surfaced of Brown working out in Florida with former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.

And there Brown was on Monday, going through drills with the rest of the Steelers well on track for a return on Sunday against Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs.

“I never count myself out regardless of circumstances,” Brown said. “I know playing football you’re going to have adversity. Just got to grow from it.”

While stressing he’s “still got a lot to test,” the only unanimous selection on the 2017 All-Pro Team and the only player in NFL history with five straight seasons with at least 100 receptions appeared to be relatively close to his old self.

“AB is nice,” cornerback Joe Haden said. “If he’s out there, I expect him to be AB. He’s not going to be out there limping around. When he was running, he looked pretty good. You never know how it’s going to feel afterward, but while he’s out there, while he’s running his routes, he looked like AB.”

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