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Bruce Arians Will Address Antonio Brown's Future After His Suspension Is Done

On Thursday, the NFL issued three-game suspensions to Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown, safety Mike Edwards and former Buccaneers wideout John Franklin III. An investigation was launched after allegations stating they "misrepresented their vaccine status under the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols" emerged.

All three players who received suspensions from the NFL have accepted their punishments and will not appeal. 

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he'll address Brown's future with the team once his suspension is over. 

"Obviously, we had two guys suspended," Arians said. "The league did their due diligence, and we move on. I will not address those guys for the next three weeks—they'll be working out. And then, we'll address their future at that time. Other than that, there's nothing else to say."

The Buccaneers signed Brown in the middle of the 2020 season, despite the controversy he courted over the previous year, including allegations of sexual assault against the wide receiver. "He screws up one time, he’s gone," Arians told NBC Sports' Peter King after the move. "I don’t think he will because he wants to play.” 

Brown was off to a nice start to the 2021 season, but he has missed an extended period of time due to an ankle injury. Before the suspension was announced, Adam Schefter reported that Brown is expected to miss at least two more weeks.

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Prior to suffering the ankle injury, Brown had 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games. 

In November, Brown was accused of trying to obtain a fake vaccination card. He allegedly wanted to avoid the league's vaccine protocols. 

Brown's lawyer, Sean Burstyn, has already responded to the NFL's three-game suspension. In his statement, Burstyn said that Brown is vaccinated. 

"The NFL made its determination and, instead of going through the drawn out and distracting process of challenging the outcome, Mr. Brown wrapped this up promptly and he will make the most of this time by treating his ankle injury," Burstyn said in a statement. "Mr. Brown will be motivated, well rested, and in the best shape of his life when he returns in Week 16."

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