Do Tampa Bay Have the Tools to Take on the Packers Without Antonio Brown?

Published 01/21/2021, 4:51 PM EST
Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an injury headache. Star wide receiver Antonio Brown is still doubtful for the tie with a knee injury. The veteran wideout picked up the injury in his side’s win over the New Orleans Saints at the Super Dome last week.

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The win saw the Buccaneers advance to the NFC Championship game. But as things stand, Brown might be unavailable for the Buccaneers in the crucial game against the Packers.

A reliable go-to aerial route

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Following his injury, Antonio Brown underwent an MRI to know the full extent of the damage done to his knee. And luckily for him and the Bucs, he seems to have avoided a serious injury.

While his recovery should be faster than earlier expected, he isn’t a sure-shot starter for Sunday either. As per reports, the wide receiver is being considered day-to-day in preparation for the NFC title game.

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Dec 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) celebrates after scoring a touchdown. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Brown, who slots in as 3rd wide receiver for the Buccaneers has provided Tom Brady with another potent aerial route to aim for. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known for their wealth of riches when it comes to their receiving talent.

With star wideouts Chris Godwin and Mike Evans leading the way, the Bucs also have veteran Rob Gronkowski at tight end. And to add to this cast, they have 4-time All-Pro Antonio Brown.

Brown’s presence sends opposition defenses into a delirious state, given the number of options Brady gets to choose from for each snap.

Who can the Buccaneers go to if not Antonio Brown?

Even with Brown not guaranteed to start, the Bucs shouldn’t fret much. While Godwin and Evans alone are enough to win games, they can rely on their young back up wide receivers Tyler Johnson and Scott Miler to fill in for Brown.

Something they did admirably in the game against the Saints. At 3rd and 11, at their own 20 in the 4th-quarter of a tied game, Brady got a crucial 1st down by connecting with young rookie Tyler Johnson.

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And the catch was one to marvel. Fooling the Saints player with a fake, Johnson dove to his left while falling backwards to register an incredible catch that ultimately helped in changing the course of the game.

It’s also important to note that Johnson registered his 1st career touchdown this season in Week 6 against the Packers. The same team he could be lining up against on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

So even if Antonio Brown fails to get dressed for the Packers game, the Buccaneers can rest easy knowing that their backups have more than what it takes to pull off a makeshift appearance.

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Shivayan Roy

750 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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