Buccaneers place Antonio Brown on reserve/ COVID-19 list; status for Week 3 showdown at Rams in question

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Wednesday that Antonio Brown has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting his availability in question for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. Head coach Bruce Arians announced the team is 100% vaccinated, so Brown is eligible to return if he gives two negative tests within a 24-hour span. 

Brown has six catches for 138 yards and touchdown through two games, but had just one catch for 17 yards in a Week 2 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Even with Brown in danger of missing the game, Tampa Bay still has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller at wide receiver. Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden will also factor into the game plan if the Buccaneers choose to go with five wide receivers. 

The third player to go on the COVID-19 list this week, Brown joins inside linebacker Kevin Minter and practice squad wide receiver Travis Jonsen. The Buccaneers also used Brown on punt returns after Jaydon Mickens went down with a hip injury. Mickens is expected to reassume those duties if he’s available for Sunday’s game. 

Brown served an eight-game suspension before playing his first game with Tampa Bay last season, then recorded 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games (four starts) with the team. He had eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in three playoff games — he missed the NFC Championship Game due to a knee injury — including catching a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. 

How long Brown will be out will be determined, but the Buccaneers could be missing a key figure in their passing game for a huge game on Sunday.

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