‘Likely’ Return of Bucs’ Antonio Brown & 2 Starting CBs Revealed

Bruce Arians Buccaneers

Getty Bruce Arians could welcome several Bucs players back in the lineup in Week 10.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about to get a whole lot healthier following their bye week.

The Buccaneers are set to have their bye week in Week 9. And although they’ll be without key starters in wide receiver Antonio Brown and cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis for their final game versus the New Orleans Saints before the bye, that won’t last too long.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Sunday, October 31, all three players should be back for the team’s Week 10 matchup against the Washington Football Team.

“More on the #Bucs, who are getting healthier. — Antonio Brown is likely back after the bye from foot/heel injuries,” wrote Rapoport. “CBs Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting are also progressing well and could be back after the bye, as well.”

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How Bucs Became Banged Up

Brown has been dealing with lingering foot/heel injuries as of late, causing him to miss last week’s victory over the Chicago Bears. The veteran wide receiver also previously missed one other game this season as he was absent during the Buccaneers’ Week 3 game versus the Los Angeles Rams.

In the case of Murphy-Bunting and Davis, their injuries have been far more severe.

Murphy-Bunting has been on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow since suffering the injury in Week 1. Up until now, there has been very little news on when the starting cornerback would be brought off of injured reserve.

As far as Davis is concerned, the 24-year-old injured his quadriceps in Week 4 against the New England Patriots. Davis has also been on injured reserve for multiple weeks.

In fact, head coach Bruce Arians stated in early October in early October that he didn’t see either corner returning any time soon.

Via Jenna Laine of ESPN:

“I don’t see either one of them coming back anytime soon,” said Arians.

The early-season injuries of the Buccaneers’ top two cornerbacks have forced the team to rely heavily on players such as Richard Sherman and Pierre Desir, two veteran corners signed after the start of the season.


Rob Gronkowski Could Return vs. Saints

The Buccaneers are due to get a whole lot healthier in general.

Starting tight end Rob Gronkowski has been sidelined since Week 3 after suffering multiple rib injuries and a punctured lung. Despite these multiple ailments, the Bucs refused to place the veteran tight end on injured reserve.

However, he could return for the Week 9 clash versus the New Orleans Saints. Although he’ll carry a “questionable” designation entering the game, he’ll be a game-time decision, according to Rapoport.

“Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs) is considered a game-time decision after missing about a month, and he’ll likely work out pre-game to be sure. One source described optimism about his playing status, which would be a big lift for TB against the Saints,” says Rapoport.

Prior to his injury, Gronkowski was off to a sensational start to the season. The 32-year-old had nabbed four touchdown passes on 16 receptions for 184 yards through less than three games. The number of TD receptions had led the team and his number of targets and receptions had ranked second through the first three weeks of the season.

If Gronkowski can’t go, O.J. Howard will likely start his fourth consecutive game at tight end.

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