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Antonio Brown expected to rejoin Bucs Thursday

The wide receiver has spent more than a week on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) celebrates a first down during the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month in Tampa.
Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) celebrates a first down during the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sep. 29, 2021

TAMPA — Veteran Bucs receiver Antonio Brown returns Thursday from his extended stay on the reserve/COVID-19 list and likely will suit up for Sunday night’s showdown with the Patriots in New England.

“His 10 days are up,” coach Bruce Arians said, “so he’ll be back (Thursday).”

The team announced Sept. 22 that Brown officially had been placed on the list. NFL protocols say vaccinated individuals who are symptomatic and test positive for COVID-19 must return two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic for 48 hours. If vaccinated individuals don’t return two consecutive negative tests, they may return after 10 days.

Every Bucs player and staff member has been vaccinated, Arians said.

Backup inside linebacker Kevin Minter, who also missed Sunday’s 34-24 loss to the Rams while on the reserve/COVID-19 list, was activated Monday.

Elsewhere, tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs), running back Giovani Bernard (knee) and edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice. Bernard and Gronkowski were injured during Sunday’s loss, with Bernard reportedly suffering a mild MCL sprain upon taking a hard shot that sent him flipping into the end zone late in the game.

Cornerback Jamel Dean (knee), also injured against the Rams, was a limited participant Wednesday.

“He’s a little bit sore, but he’s practicing,” Arians said.

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