Bucs Give Murky Update on Antonio Brown for the Super Bowl

Antonio Brown

Getty Antonio Brown missed the NFC Championship game due a knee injury.

Antonio Brown’s injury status for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl remains in doubt on Friday.

The Bucs listed Brown as questionable in the final injury report though he was a full participant in practice on Friday per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.

Brown didn’t show “ill-effects of his increased reps” in practice per Fox 13 Tampa Bay via the NFL pool reports.

Brown injured his knee in the Divisional Round at New Orleans on Jan. 17 and didn’t play in the NFC Championship game at Green Bay. He had a catch for 10 yards in the win at New Orleans.

The four-time All-Pro signed with the Bucs in October as a free agent amid off-field issues that kept him out of the game for half of the 2020 season and most of the 2019 season. He caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns, and he caught a 36-yard touchdown in the Wild Card round.

If Brown goes, he will play in his second Super Bowl. His first came as a rookie in the 2010 season when he had a catch for a yard for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. He became an All-Pro receiver in the years following before leaving the Steelers and meandering through off-field trouble and bouncing around teams before joining the Bucs in 2020.

The Bucs can get by without Brown as quarterback Tom Brady has many quality targets in receivers Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Scotty Miller, and Tyler Johnson. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is always a threat, and running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II can make plays.

Tampa scored 30 in the Divisional round at New Orleans with Brown playing sparingly, and the Bucs hit 31 at Green Bay for the NFC Championship without Brown. Brady threw touchdowns to five different players other than Brown.


Brate in Doubt

Tampa may also miss tight end Cameron Brate for the Super Bowl as the injury report indicates he’s questionable for the game and didn’t practice on Friday, Auman noted.

Brate practiced on Thursday in a limited capacity when the Bucs first listed him as questionable. He emerged as a reliable pass-catcher this season for quarterback Tom Brady with 28 receptions for 282 yards and two touchdowns. The seven-year veteran also caught a touchdown in the NFC Championship game.

His versatility helps the Bucs, too, which NFL Network’s James Palmer pointed out  on Friday afternoon.


Band Back Together

The Bucs defense looks healthy per Auman as all of the defensive players who were nursing injuries weren’t listed with an injury status for the game.

Safeties Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Whitehead notably practiced on Friday after being limited participants on Thursday. Winfield missed the NFC Championship game with an ankle injury and Whitehead injured his shoulder in the game. Linebacker Lavonte David also practiced and is cleared to go for the Super Bowl after dealing with a hamstring injury.

On the Chiefs side, star wide receiver Sammy Watkins remains questionable for the game per the team’s final injury report on Friday.

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