The Steelers Now Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.
🏈 2 p.m: Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been ruled out of the NFC Championship Game, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians announced on Friday. Brown suffered a knee injury in the Divisional Round win over New Orleans. In two playoff games, he has three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
🏈 8:30 a.m: The NFL will give free tickets to Super Bowl LV to 7,500 health care workers that have been vaccinated for COVID-19, the league announced on Friday.
Most of the 7,500 free tickets will be distributed to health care workers in the Tampa and central Florida areas, but all 32 NFL teams will be permitted to select vaccinated health care workers from their communities.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
In addition to the vaccinated health care workers, the league plans to host 14,500 paid fans for the game at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.
🏈 7:30 a.m: Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson died on Wednesday at the age of 68, and those around the NFL remembered the longtime Packers personnel man, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ted Thompson,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “Whether you were with him on the road scouting or competing against him in a Super Bowl setting, he was always the same gentleman who was genuine, friendly and supportive. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, his many friends and the entire Packers organization.”
Thompson’s Packers defeated Colbert’s Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas at the end of the 2010 season. Perhaps Thompson’s greatest accomplishment as Green Bay’s general manager was the drafting of quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2005.
Steelers linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who started his career in Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2014, also remembered Thompson.
“Thanks for taking a chance on me!” Elliott wrote on Twitter. “Prayers to your family and PackerNation!”