Buccaneers: Antonio Brown injured at worst possible time for Tampa

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

Tom Brady will be without one of his favorite targets in the NFC Championship.

No, it’s not due to some unnecessary drama on Antonio Brown’s behalf, but the former All-Pro wide receiver will not be making the trip to Green Bay with his teammates this weekend. Brown suffered a knee injury in the team’s Divisional Round upset of the New Orleans Saints. AB played just 27 snaps in that game, and was considered “day-to-day” afterwards. However, swelling in the knee put his status for Sunday in doubt, and now it’s official.

“I just talked to him this morning, and to put him on the plane and fly up there and have it swell more doesn’t make any sense,” Arians said. “He wasn’t as close as we’d hoped, so we’ll get him ready for the next one.”

Brown surely wants to play, but Brady has a plethora of other targets to take his place

The Brady-to-AB connection had grown in recent weeks, with the Hall of Fame signal-caller depending on Brown on crucial downs late in games. Now, he’ll have to look elsewhere.

Tampa Bay has plenty of younger wideouts and tight ends for Brady to choose from, including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate and the familiar Rob Gronkowski. Needless to say, Brady should still be comfortable at a bitter cold Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon.

“It obviously sucks for Antonio. We wish he could be out there with us,” Brady said. “Other guys are gonna have to step up and do the job. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys that haven’t been out there as much when AB’s been in there.”

It’s not an ideal scenario for Brady, who has pretty much played mock GM these past few months in bringing veteran talent with him to Tampa Bay. But, given his experience and game management as a 43-year-old passer, expect the Bucs to get by one way or another.

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