Wide receiver Antonio Brown was officially activated Tuesday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the reserve/suspended list.
The seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro is now in line to make his Bucs (and NFC) debut on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. It would be Brown's first game since a one-game stint with the New England Patriots in Week 2 of 2019.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians has a role set aside for Brown, though he stressed there will be a learning process.
"[I expect him to be] an explosive player with the ball in his hands. He'll have a role and we'll see how much we can get him taught. The first practice will be a walkthrough because we've got a short week coming off Monday night. We basically miss a practice this week on Wednesday because of the short week, so it will be a walkthrough practice and basically all learning," Arians said via team transcript.
At this point, Arians could only speculate as to how large a role Brown will have on Sunday.
"It really depends on how the game goes," the coach said. "If we're successful with the package that we put him in, we'll probably run it more. He'll have his role – it could be 10 plays [or] it could be 35 plays. I wouldn't anticipate 60 plays, for sure, but we'll just see how it goes."
Brown is coming off an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the league's personal-conduct policy. He signed a one-year pact with the Bucs in October.
In a corresponding move, the Buccaneers waived wide receiver Cyril Grayson.
Here are other news items Around The NFL is monitoring on Tuesday.
- Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jason Spriggs tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Spriggs has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. In addition, guard Germain Ifedi was determined to be a high-risk close contact, and was also put on the reserve/COVID-19 list, though he does have a chance to be back and play on Sunday. The team also placed offensive lineman Bobby Massie on injured reserve. Bears WR Javon Wims' appeal of his two-game suspension for punching a New Orleans Saints Player was heard Tuesday by officer James Thrash and a decision is likely coming on Wednesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.
- The Detroit Lions placed linebacker Jarrad Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Pelissero reported.
- San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that running back Tevin Coleman (knee) will not play on Thursday, nor will receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring). Shanahan also announced quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to miss four-six weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Tight end George Kittle as expected will be placed on injured reserve, Shanahan said. As for how long Kittle will miss with his foot injury, Shanahan didn't have precise timeline. "I think they told me eight weeks," Shanahan said. "Kittle says two, but that's how he rolls. That's why he'll go on IR and if it's better than what they're saying, he'll have a chance to come back this year, but eight weeks is eight weeks." The 49ers announced they have waived receiver Dante Pettis, a former second-round pick, and defensive lineman Jullian Taylor. Pettis appeared in five games this season with one start.
- The Tennessee Titans announced Tuesday that they waived CB Johnathan Joseph and LS Beau Brinkley. Joseph is a 15-year veteran, who previously played with the Bengals and Texans and started six games with Tennessee this season. The team also announced it will be releasing pass rusher Vic Beasley on Wednesday.
- The New England Patriots claimed defensive tackle Isaiah Mack off waivers from the Titans, Pelissero reported, per the waiver wire. The team also placed Devin Asiasi on injured reserve.
- Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Tanner Muse had toe surgery Monday and will miss the rest of his rookie season, Pelissero reported, adding a full recovery is expected.
- The Miami Dolphins traded wide receiver Isaiah Ford to the Patriots in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Dolphins also acquired running back DeAndre Washington from the Chiefs and a conditional 2021 draft pick in exchange for a conditional sixth-round 2021 pick.
- Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were identified as high-risk close contacts to running back A.J. Dillon, who was found to be COVID-19 positive after Sunday test results returned Monday, Pelissero reported. None of the three will be able to play in Green Bay's game against San Francisco, per NFL-NFLPA protocol. Running back Aaron Jones (calf) was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice.
- The Buffalo Bills signed former Cowboys defensive back Daryl Worley to the practice squad.
- The Baltimore Ravens placed linebackers Matt Judon, Tyus Bowser, Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison and defensive backs Terrell Bonds and DeShon Elliott on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
- The Denver Broncos placed tight end Jake Butt on injured reserve.
- The New York Jets signed linebacker Bryce Hager and safety Bennett Jackson to the active roster.
- The New York Giants placed safety Adrian Colbert on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.