Antonio Brown was officially ruled out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ “Monday Night Football” matchup with the New York Giants on Saturday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Brown, who had a tumultuous week after being accused of using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, hasn’t played since Week 6, when he suffered an ankle injury in their win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Brown didn’t practice with the team all week, though he was one of several injured players who were improving. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and receiver Scotty Miller are all considered game-time decisions.
“The arrow’s trending up for a couple of guys for sure,” Arians said, via ESPN.
Brown has recorded 418 receiving yards and four touchdowns in five games so far this season.
Brown accused of using fake COVID card
Brown allegedly sought and may have used a fake coronavirus vaccination card before training camp, according to a report on Thursday from the Tampa Bay Times.
Brown’s former personal chef and assistant claimed that Brown and his girlfriend asked him if he knew how to obtain the fake card, and said that after he did not help them that a teammate provided them for Brown instead.
Brown’s attorney denied the claims, and said that he would receive a booster shot on live television if necessary. The league is now investigating the allegations — which could result in Brown being charged with a federal crime.
The Buccaneers said they found “no irregularities” with Brown’s card, and Arians actually tried to downplay the significance of it.
"We did our due diligence,” Arians said Friday. “The league will do theirs. The statement says everything. I really don't think it's a story and it has nothing to do with the Giants game."
When questioned about his last sentence, as Brown’s status does directly impact the health safety of the team both for Monday night and beyond, Arians fired right back.
“No it doesn’t,” he replied. “It has nothing to do with the Giants game.”