Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Antonio Brown will sit out the Week 10 game against the Washington Football Team due to injury. Gronkowski endured rib injuries and a punctured lung at Los Angeles in Week 3, and his return in Week 8 at New Orleans lasted briefly because of back spasms. Brown injured his ankle at Philadelphia in Week 6 and hasn’t played since.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians confirmed the news at Friday’s press conference. He added that the Bucs won’t have cornerback Rashard Robinson, either.
As for Chris Godwin, Arians said it’s “a game-time decision.” Godwin sustained a foot injury at New Orleans according to Arians, and the star receiver didn’t practice this week except “an appearance during Friday’s practice,” ESPN’s Jenna Laine wrote.
Godwin ran in place during the media portion of the practice, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow,” Arians said in the press conference. “He looked OK today but we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
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Gronkowski’s Timetable, Brown’s Boot
Gronkowski and Brown missing Sunday’s game didn’t shock the world as neither looked ready to go all week. That’s despite both appearing at practice this week according to Laine.
Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier in the week that it will take more time for Gronkowski.
“We think in about two or three weeks, he’ll be back to normal,” Arians told SiriusXM.
As for Brown, he had his walking boot off on Thursday and worked with the JUGS machine during Thursday’s practice according to Buccaneers.com‘s Carmen Vitali. Brown showed off riding a bike with the boot the week before.
Filling The Void
Tampa Bay has plenty of options without Brown, Gronkowski and possibly Godwin on Sunday.
The Bucs have touchdown leader Mike Evans, who has 63 catches for 544 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Tyler Johnson played significant snaps this season and last, and he has 14 catches for 191 yards — an average of 13.6 yards per catch. Rookie Jaelon Darden got involved recently, and he has four catches on five targets thus far. Cyril Grayson likewise filled in recently and made an explosive play when he did — a 50-yard touchdown grab at New Orleans.
Scotty Miller, who had been out since Week 3 due to a turf toe injury, could also return for Sunday’s game. The Bucs also recently signed Breshad Perriman to the practice squad this week. Perriman likely won’t get activated since the Bucs also have Jaydon Mickens as an option, according to The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
Likewise, the Bucs made a move at tight end this week, signing Darren Fells to the practice squad. Fells getting activated against Washington looks likely in light of Gronkowski sitting out, Auman noted.
The Bucs also have Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard at tight end. Both average 9.6 yards per reception.