Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) returns a kick-off against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Miami Dolphins won 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders expected to play?

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Pittsburgh Steelers No. 2 wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will most likely be playing for a different team next season, but the big question now is whether or not this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns will be his last game. with the Steelers. Sanders seems like a toss-up against Cleveland after suffering a knee injury in the team’s 38-31 Week 16 win over the Green Bay Packers. The 26-year-old SMU product went down with a right knee injury that could have easily spelled doom for him at the tail end of a contract year, but thankfully his MRI results showed that Sanders avoided a serious injury.

His status for this week’s game has largely been viewed as a toss-up, and the Steelers need to win this one in order to have any hopes of making the playoffs. It isn’t likely that the Steelers will make the playoffs since they would need the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, and San Diego Chargers (against a Kansas City Chiefs team that will rest their starters) to all lose, but stranger things have happened. Plus, the Steelers would always love to sweep the Browns.

It sounds like there’s a solid chance that Emmanuel Sanders plays this week, as ESPN NFL Nation’s Scott Brown reported that Sanders is “optimistic” that he will play. Even though he has a sprained knee and wouldn’t want an aggravation before hitting free agency, the fact of the matter is that this a must-win game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders has been criticized quite a bit, but he’s a tough player and will do whatever it takes to suit up. He’s questionable for this week’s game, but it looks like there’s more of a chance that he plays than not. He also wants to stay in Pittsburgh, so a great performance this week could help his unlikely cause.

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Tags: Emmanuel Sanders Injury Report Pittsburgh Steelers

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