Antonio Brown is officially back and ready to suit up for an NFL game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed his return on Tuesday, activating him from the reserve/suspended list. He is now eligible to play in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium.
According to the Buccaneers' statement, Brown officially signed on Oct. 27. He was eligible to attend meetings and work with the strength coaches while finishing his suspension, but he could not suit up or practice. Now that he is officially active, Brown can practice on Wednesday before appearing in his first game. To make room for Brown, the Buccaneers waived wide receiver Cyril Grayson.
Head coach Bruce Arians spoke about Brown's addition on Tuesday, providing some insight into the game plan. He didn't reveal an exact number of snaps, but Arians said that "it could be 10 plays, it could be 35 plays." The coach said that the team would set up a package for Brown and would see how much success they have with the receiver on the field.
When the Buccaneers originally signed Brown, there were questions about how he would fit into the chemistry of the locker room. Some people on Twitter referred to the receiver as a "diva" and said that he would "destroy" the franchise from the inside out. Arians has since expressed optimism about the situation and said that the other receivers used selflessness when embracing Brown. "That whole receiver room, it's about we, not me," he told reporters.
Buccaneers fans have high expectations for the offense considering the level of firepower available for quarterback Tom Brady. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both made the Pro Bowl in 2019 while Brown is a perennial All-Pro. There is also a talented fourth option in Scotty Miller, who caught an important touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7.
Brown only played in one previous game with Brady, Week 2 of the 2019 season, but he found success overall. He caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, creating hope among the New England Patriots fanbase that this connection would continue all the way to the Super Bowl. However, the team cut ties with Brown after allegations of sexual assault surfaced.
The veteran wide receiver is now eligible to return to the NFL following an eight-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He will once again partner with Brady, albeit on a different roster. Buccaneers fans hope that this partnership will last considerably longer than the last.