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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Monday that he didn’t know if wide receiver Antonio Brown was injured when he left the field on Sunday because the conversation they had on the field didn’t reference his ankle.
“I don’t know that he was [injured],” Arians said.
Did he say that he was injured?
“No,” Arians said.
“It’s pretty obvious what happened. He left the field and that was it,” Arians said. “We had a conversation, and he left the field.”
Reports surfaced that Brown was upset after refusing to enter the game at Arians’ request and after asking twice, Arians told Brown he was off the team, as OutKick’s Alejandro Avila reported.
An NFL Network report on Monday morning further detailed that Brown was upset because he didn’t feel he could continue playing on his ankle. Brown was injured in Week 6, forcing him to miss five games along with three additional games because of his league-imposed suspension for producing a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
But now, one day after the now-former Buccaneers wide receiver jogged off the field in the middle of the Bucs’ win over the Jets, resulting in his dismissal from the team, Arians said he doesn’t regret bringing Brown into the organization.
“I have no regrets,” Arians said. “I just hope the best for him.”
Teammates Mike Evans and O.J. Howard tried to calm him before Brown took off his jersey and pads, threw his gloves and undershirt into the stands, and jogged across the end zone shirtless.
“It was very hard [to make the call to dismiss him from the team],” Arians said. “I wish him well. If he needs help, I hope he gets some. It’s very hard. Because I do care about him.”
ESPN reports that Brown was cleared to play last week and recorded a 10-catch, 101-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers, but the wide receiver tweaked the ankle again. He was medically cleared to play Sunday against the Jets, though.
Brown signed with the Buccaneers on Oct. 27, 2020. In his first year in Tampa, Brown recorded 483 yards on 45 receptions in eight games as the Bucs finished their year as Super Bowl champions.
This season, the veteran wide receiver was responsible for 42 catches and 545 yards in six games.
Check back with OutKick for updates.
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