Antonio Brown is in the building.
The embattled new Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver performed workouts with the team on Wednesday, drawing commendations from the coach who last year pegged him as “too much diva.”
Now that Brown is a Buc, head coach Bruce Arians has changed his tune, following up Sunday’s claim that he wanted Brown all along with glowing reviews of his first workouts and praise because Brown showed up to meetings.
“He looks fantastic,” Arians said of Brown, per ESPN. “He was in the meetings and everything. ...
“It went real well. He and I had a good conversation this morning. He'll be ready to go next week and in good shape.”
Arians confident Brown won’t cause problems
Brown is serving the final week of an eight-week NFL suspension in the aftermath of myriad off-field issues that included multiple allegations of rape and sexual misconduct. The Bucs signed Brown in spite of his off-field issues. Arians believes that Brown will stay out of trouble and focused on football in Tampa.
“In our conversation today, it's 'Go to football practice, go to work, come home and go back to work,’” Arians said, per ESPN. “He's all-in. I don't think we'll have any problems with those things.”
Another Chris Godwin injury opens need at WR
The Bucs may look to Brown more than they anticipated when they signed him last week. Pro Bowl wide receiver Chris Godwin’s injury-plagued season took another blow on Sunday when he broke his left index finger making a touchdown catch against the Las Vegas Raiders. The injury required surgery.
Godwin reportedly could return for a Week 9 matchup against the New Orleans Saints after missing just one week. Arians didn’t sound confident about that prospect on Wednesday.
“I think it's very optimistic that he'll be back in a week,” Arians said. “But it could be possible. We don't really know how long but yeah, so that's why we have the insurance policy.”
That insurance policy is Brown. It’s a policy that carries its own set of high-profile risks. It sounds like the Bucs will start to find out if it pays dividends with a central role in a high-stakes NFC South showdown against the Saints.
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