The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will want all the help they can get against the LA Rams defense this Sunday at SoFi Stadium, but on Wednesday it became apparent that star wideout Antonio Brown is in danger of missing the game. The veteran receiver was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday morning, which could make him inactive for the Week 3 contest that happens in four days.
Brown tested positive for Covid-19 and must sit out a minimum of three days. He will need two negative tests, 24 hours apart, in order to play against the Rams on Sunday.
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
The Bucs wooed Brown to Tampa Bay in the middle of last season thanks to his friendship with quarterback Tom Brady and he was instrumental in helping them win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. Brown was targeted seven times in Week 1 against the Cowboys, catching five passes for 121 yards with a touchdown.
But Brown was less productive in Week 2, catching one of three targets for 17 yards over 28 snaps.
It was also reported on Wednesday by Greg Auman of The Athletic that pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul missed practice and posted a cryptic message on Instagram about “setbacks”:
Bucs’ Jason Pierre-Paul added a shoulder injury this week, and not only wasn’t practicing but posted pics/video from a plane today, with a cryptic “setback” message: pic.twitter.com/5dxJj4QAG0— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 22, 2021
Over the last three years with the Patriots, (Raiders, technically), and Buccaneers, Brown has caught 55 passes for 677 yards and six touchdowns over 11 games. He also caught two touchdowns in last season’s playoffs. He’s been a key part of Tampa’s offense, though the presence of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski make it less concerning than if Brown was still a team’s number one option.
Brady sometimes does like to use Brown as his favorite target and that could be the case against Jalen Ramsey on Sunday, but first Brown must be activated.
The Rams held running back Darrell Henderson (ribs) and linebacker Leonard Floyd (ankle) out on Wednesday and their progress will also need to be monitored Thursday and Friday.
Update: Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that Brown tested positive for COVID-19 and that makes it less likely that he will have two negative tests prior to the deadline.
Bucs' WR Antonio Brown, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list today, tested positive, per league sources. A player that tests positive that is vaccinated can return after two negative tests 24 hours apart, but it will be tough for Brown to play Sunday vs. Rams.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 22, 2021