TAMPA, Fla – Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown will be a decisive decision for Sunday’s NFC Championship game at the Green Bay Packers, coach Bruce Arians said.
Brown injured his knee against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and only played a handful of shots in the second half. He did not participate in training on Thursday and was not present for Wednesday’s visit.
The Arians have indicated Brown will not have to go to practice this week to play.
“Antonio it will be a game time decision,” Arians said Thursday. “But no, he wouldn’t have to train. He’s quite a veteran. He knows what he’s doing. We’ll just see what happens.”
The former All-Pro’s absence would certainly affect the Buccaneers, given he was Tom Brady’s most targeted receiver in the last five games of the regular season and caught a touchdown pass from 36 yards in the savage win over Washington. He is also one of the few players on the list to have league championship playing experience.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich has said he knows how to use Brown if the wide receiver is available to play.
“It’s not really difficult, because I [have known about it, versus if] he had to come over us on match day, “Leftwich said.” I’ve had all week to think about these different types of things that can happen. Is he going to play? Is he not going to play? … We will be ready for any route. “
Defensive tackle Vita Vea took part in Thursday’s practice. The 346-pound nose tackle was activated from the injured reserve this week after sustaining a broken ankle in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears. In the 20-minute practice portion that was open to media, Vea looked in good shape and didn’t seem to have a hard time getting in and out of his position.
“Vita was moving pretty well today at full speed,” Arians said.