Antonio Brown injured his knee against New Orleans on Sunday, which left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver in doubt for the NFC Championship Game.
Brown had an MRI done on Monday, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported promising results for the MRI via Twitter and that the Bucs will list Brown as day-to-day.
No structural damage was expected by Pro Football Doc’s Dr. David Chao, a sports medical analyst and former NFL team doctor.
Chao noted that Brown favored the knee once late in the first half but didn’t have a clear injury incident.
Brown may have a knee sprain but no major damage according to Miami-based sports medicine and regenerative medicine specialist Dr. Jesse Morse though he didn’t examine Brown.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said little about Brown’s injury in Monday’s press conference. Arians confirmed Brown getting an MRI and said “we’ll find out more” afterward.
Brown has three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown so far in the postseason but only had a catch for 10 yards against the Saints. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady found other ways to distribute the ball as he threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns — one to wid receiver Mike Evans and another to running back Leonard Fournette.
Tampa benefitted from Brown’s impact on the field since December.
He caught four touchdowns in the final three regular season games, all wins. That included a game-winning touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 20.
Brown finished the regular season with 483 yards and four touchdowns on 45 receptions in eight games played. He joined the team in October as a free agent amid ongoing off-field issues.
The former Pro Bowler gives the Bucs added depth at receiver, which proved essential as injuries hit the receiving corps in the regular season. Bucs receivers Chris Godwin, Evans and Scotty Miller all dealt with injuries.
Many Routes to Go
Brady will have plenty of options to throw to whether or not Brown is back 100 percent.
Evans came up big in the Wild Card Round at Washington with 119 yards on six catches when he returned from a knee injury. Miller and rookie Tyler Johnson both caught critical passes against the Saints.
Godwin, despite drawing criticism from the likes of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for dropped balls, has 113 yards and a touchdown on nine catches in the playoffs. Godwin nearly made it two touchdowns late in the first half against the Saints but couldn’t hang on.
Brady also has tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate making plays when called upon. Both averaged more than 12 yards per reception at New Orleans.
Fournette and fellow running backs Ronald Jones II and LeSean McCoy can make catches out of the backfield. Fournette caught five passes for 44 yards and a touchdown the last time out. Jones posted 28 receptions for 42 yards and score in the regular season but didn’t catch a ball at New Orleans when he returned from a quad injury.
McCoy, who saw few snaps in the regular season, is healthy again. He caught 15 of 19 passes thrown to him for 101 yards in the fall. The former Pro Bowl back has 518 career receptions.