Antonio Brown will miss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' next three games after violating the league's COVID-19 policy. Buccaneers defensive back Mike Edwards and free agent John Franklin III were also suspended for three games for the same violation.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians would not get into specifics as it relates to the statuses of his two suspended players during Friday's media availability. Arians, who said that he will not address either player during their suspensions, offered a cryptic message when detailing the futures of both players when their suspensions are over.
"We'll address their future at that time," Arians said. "Other than that, there's really nothing to say."
Brown has missed the Buccaneers' last five games with an ankle injury. With Brown slated to miss the team's next three games, Tampa Bay activated former first-round pick Breshad Perriman off of their practice squad on Friday. Perriman, who was signed to Tampa Bay's practice squad last month, caught two passes in the team's Week 11 win over the New York Giants.
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The 33-year-old receiver has 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games this season. Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular-season games for the Buccaneers last season. He caught eight passes during the Buccaneers' 2020 postseason that included a touchdown catch in Tampa Bay's 31-19 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
The Tampa Bay Times reported last month that Brown's former live-in chef alleged that Brown had obtained fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Through his attorney, Brown denied those allegations while claiming he was indeed vaccinated. The Buccaneers announced that they found no irregularities with Brown's vaccination cards.
Despite Brown's absence, Tampa Bay's offense enters this Sunday's game against the Falcons as the NFL's top-ranked scoring unit. Tom Brady is enjoying an MVP-caliber season, with 3,403 yards and 30 touchdowns passes through 11 games. On Sunday, Brady and the Buccaneers' offense will face an Atlanta defense that is currently 31st in the NFL in scoring, 30th in third-down efficiency and 25th in red-zone efficiency.