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Wide receiver Antonio Brown's three-game suspension for violating the joint NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocol ends Monday, and when it does, he's expected to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Ahead of Week 13, the NFL handed down three-game suspensions to Brown, Bucs cornerback Mike Edwards and free agent cornerback John Franklin III for "misrepresenting" their COVID-19 vaccine status. All three accepted the suspension and waived their right to appeal.
The NFL didn't release any official details of those violations, but Brown's "misrepresentation" may have stemmed from a November report in the Tampa Bay Times that alleged Brown had purchased counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards before training camp. Brown's live-in chef at the time provided text messages to the Times that allegedly showed Brown and his girlfriend discussing buying fake vaccination cards from the chef, Steven Ruiz. Ruiz said that Brown purchased the cards a few week after that conversation took place.
While Brown may rejoin the team, we might not see him on the field for the rest of the regular season. His one-year contract with the Bucs includes a $333,333 incentive when he hits five receiving touchdowns, and he currently stands at four. Plus, the Bucs have been doing just fine without him. Brown last appeared in a game in Week 6, and the Bucs have won five of the seven games they've played since then, and are on a four-game winning streak.