The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have certainly looked like the kind of team that could repeat as Super Bowl champions this season so far. They’ve started the season 2-0 and Tom Brady has looked solid at quarterback (and might just continue to do so for years to come).
While the franchise has felt the need to shore up its defense, they seem to feel pretty good about where their offense stands right now. However, the Bucs learned this week that they might be without one of their biggest wide receiver weapons this weekend. According to ESPN’s Rick Stroud, Antonio Brown has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Bucs WR Antonio Brown has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He would have to have two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible to play Sunday at Los Angeles.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 22, 2021
“He’ll need to remain asymptomatic and have two negative tests 24 hours apart to be able to return, which makes it tough for him to get back for the game at Rams on Sunday,” The Athletics’ Greg Auman said.
Given that it’s already Wednesday, time is not on Brown or the Buccanneers’ side. It’s unclear if Brown was able to start this process before Wednesday, which might create more space for this to happen. Head coach Bruce Arians is working under the assumption that Brown will be unavailable.
Bruce Arians says it’s possible Antonio Brown could return for Rams game but it would be “gravy” if that was the case and not expected.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 22, 2021
Brown has six receptions of the year so far for 138 yards and a touchdown. He also ran in a touchdown against Dallas in the season opener. Brown has settled into his role as part of the wide receiving corp in Tampa following a very dramatic and controversial era that involved public spats with his former teams, accusations of sexual assault, and a suspension for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. A connection with Tom Brady seems to have gone a long way with helping the WR get his career and life back on track.
If Brown is unavailable on Sunday, Brady will have to focus on his connections with Chris Godwin (167 yards, 2 TDs), Rob Gronkowski (129 yards, 4 TDs), and Mike Evans (99 yards, 2 TDs).