Antonio Brown may be back on the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sooner rather than later, at least if his short-lived Instagram post is any indication. The Athletic’s Greg Auman posted a screenshot of a November 16 post that Brown had briefly shared on his Instagram Story.
“Godsplan fireworks soon,” Brown said in the caption along with a photo of himself playing during a Bucs game.
A short time later, the post no longer appeared on Brown’s Instagram page. Perhaps the receiver was trying to avoid increased speculation about when he will suit up again for the Buccaneers.
What is clear is that Brown is anxious to get back on the field. Days later, Brown tagged the Bucs in another Instagram Story post with the caption “unfinished business” along with a photo of himself catching passes during practice.
Brown has been sidelined with an ankle injury for more than a month and last played against the Eagles on October 14. Tampa Bay has not released a specific return timeline for Brown since the injury occurred.
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Arians on Bucs WR3 in A.B.’s Absence: ‘Whoever It Is Right Now Needs to Step Up’
The Bucs have been quiet about Brown’s eventual return, but Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians had a message to the other receivers on the roster. After the Bucs’ loss to Washington, Arians emphasized that the receivers playing more in Brown’s absence “[need] to step up.” Arians spoke like a coach preparing to be without Brown even longer and mentioned Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman and Jaelon Darden as specific players that need to be better.
“Yeah, the No. 3 receiver, whoever it might be, whether it’s Tyler [Johnson], B.P. [Breshad Perriman], whoever it is right now needs to step up, Jaelon [Darden],” the Bucs coach noted on The Bruce Arians Show. “Where Antonio is a No. 1, but he’s a third option sometimes but when he gets singled, he’s gonna win. Those guys are getting single [coverage], they got to win.”
Back in October, Arians admitted Brown could be out “a long time” but emphasized that the receiver is dealing with a bit of an unpredictable injury.
“Shoot, that injury, who knows?” Arians explained on October 27, per Buccaneers.com. “That one – it could be that or it could be a long time. Wait and see how the foot [heals]; he’s still on a crutch, so. …It’s still considered an ankle sprain but it’s around his heel.”
Brown Has Been Spotted Without a Walking Boot
Brown has been wearing a walking boot throughout his rehab, but the receiver was spotted boot-free at a practice leading up to the team’s Week 10 matchup against Washington. The Bucs receiver will likely at least need to fully practice before he is cleared to play in games.
“And yes, no boot on Antonio Brown today, though I didn’t see him run and he was walking gingerly,” Auman tweeted on November 10. “Gronkowski was running much more but not in pads.”