NASHVILLE – Dining out nearly did in A.J. Brown.
The Tennessee Titans wide receiver said he doubted his chances to play Monday night against the Buffalo Bills because of a case of food poisoning he contracted over the weekend.
“I had some bad Chipotle,” he said. “I got three IVs. I got two (Monday) morning. I got bag and half before the game. I didn’t know if I was going to play or not. They expected me to play, but you don’t really know.”
Brown did play. And he got better as he went.
Capped by a fourth quarter in which he caught four passes for 61 yards, the 2020 Pro Bowler was the Titans’ leading receiver with seven catches for 91 in their 34-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Nissan Stadium. Both numbers were season-highs for Brown, who missed all of one game and most of another with a hamstring injury. The seven receptions were the most by any Tennessee player this season, and his fourth-quarter total matched his previous season-high for a game.
His last catch was his longest of the night. It went for 22 yards on what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown drive.
“I kind of forgot about it,” he said. “Third quarter it got a little better for me. Then the fourth quarter it hit me all over again. I was definitely just trying to fight through it.”
That approach is nothing new for Brown, who missed just one game in 2020 despite the fact that he was on the injury report every week. After the season, he underwent surgery on both knees and spent much of the offseason in recovery.
He was on the injury report ahead of Monday’s game due to the hamstring injury but was a full participant in every practice. Sunday, he was downgraded to questionable because of the illness.
Following Monday’s performance, though, he once again is Tennessee’s leading receiver with 17 catches. His 221 receiving yards are second to Julio Jones’ 263.
“Yeah, it has been a rough 48 hours,” Brown said. “Leading up to the game it was still, without a doubt, there. They gave me a whole bunch of medicine, as much medicine as I could take. [I am] really hoping this interview can hurry up so I can go and sit down.”
For the record, he stayed at the podium for nine more questions.