Bruce Arians will lead his Buccaneers into Green Bay on Sunday afternoon for a date in the NFC Championship with the Packers. But, Tampa Bay will be without a key offensive weapon when they do.
According to Greg Auman of The Athletic, Arians ruled out Antonio Brown for this weekend’s title bout. The 31-year-old suffered a knee injury in last Sunday’s game against the Saints and isn’t in good enough shape to take the field in Green Bay.
Earlier this week, the Buccaneers head coach labeled Brown a “game-time” decision, but it would seem that his status has worsened. Even without the practice time, Arians thought that the veteran wideout would be able to give it a go in pre-game warmups.
“Antonio, he’ll be a game-time decision,” Arians said Thursday per Jenna Laine of ESPN. “But no, he would not have to practice. He’s veteran enough. He knows what he’s doing. We’ll just see what happens.”
Bruce Arians says Antonio Brown is out and will not play vs. Packers on Sunday.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) January 22, 2021
Brown proved to be a solid addition to the Buccaneers when Tampa acquired him at the halfway point of the 2020 season. Once he returned from his eight-game suspension, the four-time All Pro took the field and added another receiving threat to a talented Tampa Bay corps. Brown showed flashes on his former self during the regular season, racking up 483 yards and four scores in eight appearances.
Without Brown available, Tom Brady will have to look elsewhere on the Buccaneers for explosive plays. The 43-year-old quarterback still has the team’s top-two receiving options in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin available. Second-year man Scotty Miller should also plug-in to the slot for Tampa Bay when they take the field on Sunday.
Brady’s Buccaneers will need another heroic effort to get past the No. 1 seeded Packers this weekend. Aaron Rodgers looks to be on a mission to get his second ring, with no intention of slowing down. Tampa’s defense will also need to show out in order for the NFC Championship to stay competitive.
Buccaneers vs. Packers will kick-off at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday with a chance to play in the Super Bowl on the line. The game will air on FOX.