Probably not, but you can use the ExpressCard slot instead
The model you mentioned (17" MacBookPro8,3 late 2011) does seem to have a separate Wifi/bluetooth assembly, but you'll probably have a very hard time finding a matching replacement in both size and connection. I didn't find a disassembled 17" model, but the card in the 15" of the same generation looks like this (4 antenna connectors and what is probably some sort of PCI Express cable).
However, since yours is a 17", it does have an ExpressCard slot, where you can stick in a Wifi card of your choosing (something like this) without even having to take the whole machine apart.
Or patch around your Linux kernel with one of the BCM4331 drivers that are out there, but I assume you've already tried that.