Antonio Brown Out For Buccaneers vs. Packers: Impact of His Absence For NFC Championship Game

Antonio Brown Out For Buccaneers vs. Packers: Impact of His Absence For NFC Championship Game article feature image
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Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Antonio Brown

Bruce Arians made it official: Antonio Brown will not play in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver was thought to be a game-time decision as he dealt with a knee injury, but he did not progress enough during the week to suit up on game day.

Brown was injured early in the second half against the Saints in the NFC Divisional Round, playing just three snaps after halftime. An MRI revealed no structural damage. He caught just one pass for 10 yards in the 30-20 win over New Orleans.

What does this mean for Tampa Bay?

It’s a relatively significant loss, as Brown makes up part of perhaps the best trio of wide receivers in the NFL.

According to Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, Brown is the third-most valuable receiver on Tampa Bay. Koerner makes Brown worth 0.54 points to the spread, behind Chris Godwin (0.66) and Mike Evans (0.59).

Brown played in eight regular-season games this season, with his most impressive performance coming in Week 15. Brown caught 11 of 14 targets for 138 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-27 win over the Falcons.

He did not play in the regular-season meeting back in Week 6 between Tampa Bay and Green Bay.

Brown was projected for a large downgrade this week due to his matchup, as laid out by Matthew Freedman. Whichever receiver draws Jaire Alexander is likely to see a downgrade.

At time of publication, the Packers were either 3- or 3.5-point favorites at the major sportsbooks. Keep up with real-time odds here.

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