Then, word surfaced about Brown dealing with more than an ankle injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on Wednesday, Dec. 1, that Brown will miss another two games “per source”, which includes Sunday’s game at Atlanta and the next home game against Buffalo.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians confirmed on Wednesday that Brown has more than an ankle injury. Brown didn’t practice on Wednesday, and Arians called Brown’s status doubtful for the Atlanta game.
“It was more (of) a different injury than originally thought,” Arians told the media. “A sprain. There’s some issues in the heel — that’s what he’s having problems with.”
Tampa Bay didn’t place Brown on injured reserve following the Oct. 14 injury. Arians acknowledged that the team would have decided differently if Brown’s injury was initially known as more than an ankle.
Either way, Brown already missed three games required for injured reserve. It looks like the Bucs will play a total of eight games without him if the current time frame holds. The Bucs have a 3-3 record without Brown this season.
Brown has 29 receptions, 418 yards, and four touchdowns in five games this fall. The Bucs went 5-0 in those games.
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Bucs Still Searching for Viable Third Receiver
Tampa Bay’s biggest problem without Brown lies in not having a viable third wide receiver.
Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden and practice squad players coming up haven’t come close to alleviating Brown’s absence. Johnson has 15 receptions for 178 yards and no touchdowns. Darden caught six passes for 43 yards and no scores in his first five career games.
Cyril Grayson, who came up from the practice squad in an Oct. 31 loss at New Orleans, has the only touchdown by a Bucs receiver not named Brown, Chris Godwin or Mike Evans. Grayson, known for his speed, caught a 50-yard touchdown pass in that game but hasn’t played since.
Breshad Perriman the moved up from the practice squad but also produced little against the New York Giants. He had two receptions for 19 yards in the Nov. 22 win, and he only played two snaps the week before at Washington. The Bucs didn’t play him against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 28.
Tampa Bay got speedy receiver Scotty Miller back for that game. Miller didn’t get involved in the offense much as played just four snaps and got targeted once. He made a big play on special teams, however, with a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
Five Bucs Players Sit Out Practice Due to Injury
Besides Brown, the Bucs had four other players out for practice due to injury on Wednesday.
Darden also sat out due to a concussion from the Indy game. Safety Mike Edwards has a groin injury, defensive lineman Will Gholston has a wrist injury, and offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie has a knee injury.
Defensive tackle Vita Vea had limited participation due to a knee injury. Linebacker Devin White also practiced in limited capacity due to a quad injury. Offensive lineman Ali Marpet, who sat out the Colts game due to an oblique injury, also had limited participation.