Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown placed on reserve/COVID-19 list, availability for Sunday in doubt

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed wide receiver Antonio Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, making his availability for Week 3's game against the Los Angeles Rams uncertain.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians had said before the season opener that the team is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning that Brown would need to be asymptomatic and produce a pair of negative test results a day apart to be eligible to play.

Brown, 33, has become one of quarterback Tom Brady's favorite targets and has hauled in six passes this season for 138 yards with one touchdown. Still, even if Brown is not eligible to play, Tampa Bay's receiving corps is loaded with talented players like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard. Brown, though, is a versatile receiver who can line up outside or in the slot and is shifty off the line of scrimmage with precise route running.

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FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) smiles while entering the tunnel at halftime during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo.
FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) smiles while entering the tunnel at halftime during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo.

Brown even assisted with punt return duties in Sunday's 48-25 victory against the Atlanta Falcons because of an injury to the team's regular punt returner, Jaydon Mickens.

The Buccaneers are making their first road trip of the season for Sunday's game against the 2-0 Rams, in a game that could be an eventual preview of playoff teams.

Because the game is across the country, it could potentially complicate the timeline for Brown's availability. Teams typically fly to their opponent's city the day before games, meaning that for Brown to make it on the team flight, his second negative tests would likely need to be cleared by Saturday morning before the flight. Otherwise, Brown could potentially make his own way to Los Angeles for the game if he's forced to miss the team flight.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Antonio Brown placed on COVID-19 list, could miss Bucs' game vs. Rams