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Bruce Arians: Antonio Brown Upset About Lack of Targets Before Mid-Game Exit

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians addressed Antonio Brown's exit from the field in the third-quarter on Sunday, noting Brown's departure came following the receiver's frustration over a lack of targets against the Jets. 

Brown was released on Thursday morning, one day after he released a statement accusing the Buccaneers of mishandling his ankle injury. Brown said he was pressured to play by Tampa's staff despite the hurt ankle, adding he was kicked off the field after refusing to go into the game due to the ankle injury. Arians disputed that version of events on Thursday.

“At no point in time during that game did [Brown] as the trainer or doctor about his ankle,” Arians said Thursday. “I was never notified of it.”

“He was very upset at halftime about who was getting targeted. ... It started again on the sideline. We called the personnel group he's been in the entire game, he refused to go in the game.”

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Brown caught three of his five targets for 26 yards before leaving the game, a 28–24 Buccaneers win.

Brown's time with Tampa–and potentially the NFL writ large–appears to be over after the Week 17 incident. As for Arians and the Buccaneers, they enter Week 18 with the NFC South clinched at 12–4. Tampa will host Carolina in its regular-season finale on Sunday, with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. ET. 

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