Why isn’t Antonio Brown playing on ‘Monday Night Football’? Suspension keeps new Buccaneer out Week 8

Antonio Brown signed with the Buccaneers in Week 8, but he won’t be a part of “Monday Night Football” against the Giants.

Week 8 will be the final game served of Brown’s eight-game suspension before he’s likely reinstated by the NFL. That will allow his Buccaneers debut to come in Week 9 against the Saints on “Sunday Night Football.” In the meantime, the Bucs will rely on Mike Evans and hope Chris Godwin returns to health to keep Tom Brady armed with capable weapons out wide.

Here’s more about Brown’s suspension and why he won’t play in Week 8 but could play in Week 9.

Why isn’t Antonio Brown playing Week 8?

Antonio Brown isn’t playing in Week 8 because it’s the final week of an eight-game suspension handed down to Brown before the start of the season. NFL teams looking to sign Brown were aware that he wouldn’t be eligible to play until the completion of Week 8.

The Buccaneers likely signed Brown at the time they did due to competition from other teams for his signature. Everything being agreed upon in Brown’s new contract would’ve viewed Week 9 as the first time he could actually take the field.

When does Antonio Brown’s suspension end?

Brown’s suspension officially ends at the conclusion of Week 8, which comes after the Buccaneers and Giants have completed their game. Starting Week 9, Brown can return to practicing and playing in games.

The suspension of eight games began counting in Week 1 of this season despite Brown’s absence from a roster. So although he was only under contract for one game of his suspension, because eight weeks have passed, Brown is considered to have served his eight-game suspension.

Why is Antonio Brown suspended?

Brown was suspended eight games because of a violation of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. The suspension was because of his January 2020 arrest in connection with an attack on the driver of a moving company truck. The initial charge was felony assault and battery, which was later lowered in March to burglary of a vehicle, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The NFL is still investigating Brown for sexual assault allegations brought against him by his former trainer. Those are the allegations that led to his 2019 release from the Patriots. Brown could still be subject to NFL punishment if those allegations are concluded to have been further violation by Brown of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Why did the Buccaneers sign Antonio Brown?

First-year Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady embraced Brown when the star wideout joined New England briefly in 2019, and it seems that relationship was good enough to welcome a 2020 reunion. The Buccaneers already have two high-powered receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but both have battled varying degrees of injury in 2020.

At his peak, the 32-year old Brown may have been the best receiver in football. He had six consecutive seasons of more than 100 catches and 1,000 yards while in Pittsburgh. In Brown’s lone game with New England in 2019, he caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Even in a situational role, Brown can likely still make plays and provide Brady with yet another weapon as the Bucs seek a trip to the Super Bowl.

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