Bruce Arians has been very open about the whole process of re-signing Antonio Brown this offseason, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Bucs head coach offered up more information on Tuesday.
But instead of the re-signing process, it was about Brown’s health and his eventual return to the field. Brown recently had minor arthroscopic knee surgery to clean up the knee that caused him to miss the NFC Championship game.
Arians met with reporters Tuesday and offered up some advice on Brown and his timeline to return.
“That’s strictly up to the doctors and when they give him the green light,” Arians said. “The one thing you never have to worry about is Antonio being in shape. If anything, he will be out there too soon. I’ll have to watch him. The veteran guys – we’ll see them all in two weeks.”
Two weeks may be enough time to get Brown on the field, but the recovery timeline associated with arthroscopic surgery can last up to 4-6 weeks for athletes. Regardless, Arians made it clear that Brown wouldn’t be involved in practice if he were healthy, anyway.
“No negotiations – I just told them, ‘Don’t be here.’,” Arians said when asked about veterans attending voluntary OTAs. “I would love to have you in the meetings, watching film and doing some team building so we’ve got some guys coming in and out. But if you were a starter, you weren’t going to be on the field anyway.”
Remember, Lavonte David actually tore his meniscus -albeit it was a minor tear– at the start of 2019 training camp. And as it turned out, he was ready for the season opener just four weeks later. It’s entirely possible that Brown could be back soon.
But no matter what, he’ll be ready for training camp and at this point, that’s all that really matters.