PITTSBURGH -- A 24-hour flu bug has permeated the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room and affected several players leading up to the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.
Tight end Ladarius Green missed practice Thursday with an illness, and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was one of four players to sit out Wednesday. Wide receiver Cobi Hamilton said up to 15 people in the Steelers facility have suffered a setback this week.
Running back Le'Veon Bell isn't sick but missed a practice for personal reasons. Coach Mike Tomlin said the absence would not affect his game preparation.
"I'm just thankful that I've stayed out of the line of fire," said Tomlin about the illnesses. "We're not making excuses. There won't be. We'll be there, we'll be ready to play, this is just part of normal things that happen over the course of a season"
The good news for the Steelers is all four ill players who missed Wednesday -- Hewyard-Bey, kicker Chris Boswell, center B.J. Finney and quarterback Zach Mettenberger -- were back in action Thursday. Green is in concussion protocol but practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday, before the illness kept him out.