As the Bucs near a return to full health, questions remain about the status of wide receiver Antonio Brown. The veteran wideout returned to the field for some drills and JUGS work last week, even donning shoulder pads and a helmet. But the Bucs continued to hold Brown out of practice as he recovers from an ankle sprain suffered in Week 6.
Still, it’s clear Brown is getting closer to a return. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, head coach Bruce Arians sounded optimistic about Brown’s prognosis.
‘AB’, he’s making progress,” Arians said. “Again, we’ll wait and see Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday will pretty much be walk-through. But we’ll see Thursday for sure.”
Brown didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice, and by the sounds of it, I wouldn’t expect to see him out there Thursday either. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Arians revealed Brown’s likely return date during an appearance on the reporter’s SiriusXM NFL Radio show. Per the Bucs head coach, the team is hopeful Brown can return against the Falcons in Week 13.
#Bucs coach Bruce Arians told us on @SiriusXMNFL he’s hopeful WR Antonio Brown (ankle) will return next week against the #Falcons. “He’s moving around a lot better. He’s able to put more weight on the heel and bounce around on it some. We’ve got our fingers crossed …”
Considering the Bucs struggles to get production out of the No. 3 wide receiver spot, Brown’s return will be much anticipated. Tyler Johnson has been just adequate in Brown’s stead, while Breshad Perriman and Jaelon Darden have struggled. Tampa Bay does get Scotty Miller back against the Colts. The speedy receiver was activated to the roster from injured reserve on Tuesday. Miller has just two catches for 11 yards this season.
But the Bucs will have to win another one without Brown, who will likely miss his fifth straight game on Sunday. On the season, Brown has missed six total games. Despite that, the former All-Pro has 29 catches for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games.
The Bucs return to action on Sunday when they battle the Colts at 1pm.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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