Note: On Friday, Bucs coach Bruce Arians ruled Brown out for Sunday.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – With the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers relatively healthy for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, the big question revolves around the availability of receiver Antonio Brown.
He didn’t practice on Thursday and will be a game-time decision, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said after practice.
“The good thing is I know him well enough to know that if he is healthy, I can put him in position and put him in spots to have success,” Leftwich said. “We’ll just have to see. It’s not really difficult because I’ve got an idea [about his status compared to] if it would have just come upon us the day of the game. I’ve got all week to really think through all those different things that may happen – is he going to play [or] is he [not] going to play? We’ll be ready for whichever way it goes.”
A seven-time Pro Bowler while with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown is trying to resurrect his career with the Buccaneers. Signed on Oct. 27, about a week after the Buccaneers blasted the Packers in Week 6, he caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Brown, the Bucs will pose the biggest challenge the Packers have faced all season, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said in the accompanying video.
The injury reports were almost identical to Wednesday’s. For Green Bay, tight end Marcedes Lewis got his usual Thursday rest day and safety Will Redmond (knee) went from full to limited.
For Tampa Bay, safety Antoine Winfield was added to the report but was full participation. Defensive tackle Vita Vea, who officially remains on injured reserve, practiced again and could play for the first time since breaking an ankle in Week 5 against Chicago.
“Just to see him out there running around has been great for me personally [with] the relationship that we have,” Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said. “Hopefully, we can keep winning and he can get back. That would be great if he can.”
Packers Injury Report
DNP: TE Marcedes Lewis (knee),
Limited: ILB Krys Barnes (thumb), K Mason Crosby (shoulder), RB AJ Dillon (quad), DL Kingsley Keke (concussion), WR Allen Lazard (wrist/back), S Will Redmond (knee), ILB Za’Darius Smith (thumb), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee/ankle), RT Rick Wagner (knee), RB Jamaal Williams (ankle).
Buccaneers Injury Report
DNP: WR Antonio Brown (knee), OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee/not injury related).
Limited: WR Mike Evans (knee), WR Chris Godwin (quad), RB Ronald Jones (quad/finger), CB Sean Murphy-Buntin (quad/ankle), S Jordan Whitehead (knee).
Full: DL Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf), G Ali Marpet (pectoral), Antoine Winfield (ankle).