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Bucs' Antonio Brown Activated off Suspension List, Role vs. Saints Undetermined

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2020

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown carries his helmet during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been activated off the reserve/suspension list and will be eligible to play in the team's Week 9 matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

"He'll have his role—it could be 10 plays [or] it could be 35 plays," head coach Bruce Arians said about Brown's playing time on Sunday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I wouldn't anticipate 60 plays, for sure, but we'll just see how it goes."

Brown, 31, last played in the 2019 season in one game for the New England Patriots, catching four passes for 56 yards and a score. He registered 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. 

In September 2019, Brown's former trainer filed a lawsuit against Brown in which she said he sexually assaulted her three times in 2017 and 2018. He was also accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by another woman who said he then sent her intimidating text messages after she went public with her story. The Patriots released Brown after the second woman's said he threatened her via text message.

Additionally, he pleaded no contest to battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief less than $1,000 after a confrontation with a moving company in January. As a part of his plea deal he was given two years of probation, a psychiatric evaluation, an anger management class and 100 hours of community service.  

He was suspended by the NFL for eight games this season as a result of investigations into the alleged battery and burglary, as well as the allegation of sexual misconduct by the second woman. With that suspension now served, he's eligible to play for the Bucs. 

In Tampa, he'll join an offensive brimming with playmakers for Tom Brady, from Chris Godwin and Mike Evans to Rob Gronkowski, Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette. It remains to be seen if Brown will play a major role and can hit the ground running after essentially a year-and-a-half away from the game, or if he'll be a figure left to the background given the other talent in place. 

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