Bruce Arians has animated response to Antonio Brown question
Antonio Brown is eligible to return from his three-game suspension this week, and his services are needed more than ever. Many have wondered why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would welcome him back in the wake of his latest off-field misstep, but head coach Bruce Arians is not concerned about outside opinions.
Prior to Tampa Bay’s 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Arians said both Brown and safety Mike Edwards will be welcomed back when their suspensions end because “it’s what’s in the best interest of our football team.” A reporter asked Arians on Monday about the criticism he might face for that stance. He offered a blunt response.
“I could give a s— what they think. Only thing I care about is this football team and what’s best for us,” Arians said, via NFL Network’s Sara Walsh.
When Arians originally said Brown would be welcomed back, he had no idea how badly the Bucs would need the former Pro Bowler. Both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin left Sunday’s game with injuries. Godwin was been diagnosed with a torn ACL and is out for the season. Evans has a hamstring injury and is expected to be fine, but it’s unclear if he will play in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers.
Brown and Edwards were suspended for three games each after the NFL determined that they misrepresented their COVID vaccination status. The investigation was seemingly launched after Brown’s former personal chef said A.B. purchased a fake vaccination card prior to the season and turned it into the Bucs.
Arians made it seem like no nonsense would be tolerated from Brown when the Buccaneers signed him last year. There must be a higher threshold than we thought.
Photo: Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports