TAMPA, Fla. — Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown, whose resurgent recent stretch was halted by a knee injury sustained last week in New Orleans, won’t play in Sunday’s NFC title game, coach Bruce Arians said.
Brown hasn’t practiced this week and wasn’t seen during the limited practice window open to reporters Friday at AdventHealth Training Center.
“To put him on the plane and fly up there and have (the knee) swell more just doesn’t make any sense,” Arians said. “He wasn’t as close as we had hoped, so we’ll get him ready for the next one.”
With Brown sidelined last week, rookie Tyler Johnson and second-year teammate Scotty Miller made clutch catches during a fourth-quarter field-goal drive that put the Bucs ahead for good in their 30-20 win against the Saints.
Johnson made an outstretched grab on third-and-11 for a 15-yard gain. Miller, whose playing time dissipated significantly upon Brown’s arrival, had a 29-yard reception of a deep Tom Brady throw three plays later.
“I think you just looked to last week when Scotty and Tyler got in there and made those huge plays in the fourth quarter, the amount of trust that the coaches and Tom have in those guys, just because they’ve earned it,” Arians said.
“Yeah, Antonio will be missed, but we’ve got capable people stepping in.”(c)2021 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.