PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green sat out practice on Friday, putting his availability for Sunday’s playoff game against Miami in doubt.
Coach Mike Tomlin held Green out after expressing concern about Green’s performance in practice on Thursday. Green missed Pittsburgh’s final two regular season games after being put in the concussion protocol following a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cincinnati on Dec. 18.
Tomlin said Friday “we didn’t get the type of results we wanted” from Green and that Green remains in the concussion protocol.
Green spent the first eight weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from ankle surgery. He returned against Dallas and caught 18 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown in six games.
Jesse James will likely start against the Dolphins if Green can’t go.
Green’s emergence as a downfield threat that could take some of the pressure off All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown played a pivotal role in helping the Steelers (11-5) reel off seven straight victories to run away with the AFC North title.
Yet James and Xavier Grimble have both proven effective at times, combining for 50 receptions and five touchdowns. With Green so limited throughout the season, James and Grimble - a practice squad graduate - have been able to grow up on the job.
While they’re not exactly interchangeable, they’re much closer to reaching that ideal than they were in August.
“That’s pretty much been our goal,” Grimble said. “Anybody that’s in our room, coach pushes for us to learn every job the tight end may have. We need to make that flow as easily as we can.”
Outside of Green, the Steelers are relatively healthy as they try to reach the divisional round for the second straight year. Wide receiver Sammie Coates and his tweaked hamstring practiced on Friday. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who missed the final two games with a sprained knee, is expected to play as is defensive end Johnny Maxey (ankle)
Green is listed as questionable along with linebacker Vince Williams (shoulder) and safety Robert Golden (ankle). Linebacker Anthony Chickillo (ankle) and defensive end Ricardo Mathews (ankle) are out.
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