Antonio Brown has been a difference-maker for the Buccaneers since making his Tampa Bay debut in Week 9, but will he be available for Super Bowl 55? That’s one of the big questions heading into Sunday’s game.
The 32-year-old, who sat out the first eight weeks of the regular season after the NFL suspended him for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, missed the NFC championship game with a knee injury. Brown likely would have sat out a contest scheduled for Jan. 31, but fortunately for the Bucs, the extra recovery time could allow him to return against the Chiefs.
Brown isn’t the same impact player he was during his prime years in Pittsburgh, but his presence alone would be valuable for a Tampa Bay offense that also features Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller. You can never have too much firepower when facing Kansas City.
Here’s everything we know about Brown’s status ahead of the Super Bowl.
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Will Antonio Brown play vs. Chiefs?
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters that Brown was limited in practice on Wednesday. Tampa Bay safties Jordan Whitehead (shoulder/knee) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) were also limited.
“They got about half a practice in,” Arians said. “Most of them looked pretty good. We’ll see how the swelling goes tomorrow on AB for sure. … Jordan had a non-contact jersey on, but he was flying around, looking pretty good.”
During his Wednesday media availability, Brown didn’t offer anything definitive but said the “arrow is pointing up.”
Antonio Brown, on his knee and recovery: “The arrow is pointing up as the week continues to unfold.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 3, 2021
Brown was initially listed as “doubtful” on the Bucs’ Super Bowl injury report, but obviously that designation could change if he continues making progress.
What is Antonio Brown’s injury?
Brown injured his knee during the Buccaneers’ divisional round win against the Saints and underwent an MRI. He was considered “day-to-day” but then missed the NFC championship game against the Packers. It wasn’t clear when or how he suffered the injury, but broadcast cameras showed Brown limping on the sideline.
Antonio Brown 2020 stats
Despite jumping into the offense halfway through the regular season, Brown finished first on the team in receptions per game, tied for third in total receptions and fourth in targets. He quickly earned the trust of Tom Brady, and that connection only became stronger as Brown got more opportunities within Tampa Bay’s system.
“Antonio and I connected right away,” Brady said of his relationship with Brown. “He has a great love for the game. [He’s] a real perfectionist about how he plays, how he takes care of himself, incredible football IQ and then a great skill set just as a player. I think [he’s] made incredible strides over the last 12 months to get from where he was at to where he’s at now.”