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Friday's practice a big one for Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown

PITTSBURGH -- The injury report is out, and the news is not ideal for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who just missed his second straight practice while under the concussion protocol.

From what I've gathered, the Steelers simply don't know when Brown will get over the concussion hump, though Brown himself has told people he's optimistic. It could be Friday. It could be Saturday. Or it could be next week, when it's possibly too late.

As for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the news is more encouraging. Roethlisberger was a limited participant in practice Thursday, and I'm told Friday might be the day he makes some competitive throws.

That's the key. Everyone knows he can deal with pain. Roethlisberger himself said he'll take pain medication if necessary. But can he throw the ball 25 yards downfield? That's the question the Steelers haven't answered yet.

Unless running back DeAngelo Williams starts cutting and running in Friday's practice, he's out for the Broncos game. He's been rehabbing for the past two weeks, with no on-field action.