Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Antonio Brown out, Rob Gronkowski questionable vs. Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been ruled out for Monday night’s home game against the New York Giants.

Brown hasn’t played since sustaining an ankle injury in Tampa Bay’s 28-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 14.

While Brown has been ruled out, coach Bruce Arians said Saturday that the “arrow’s trending up” for tight end Rob Gronkowski as well as cornerback Sean-Murphy Bunting.

Gronkowski missed last week’s 29-19 loss to the Washington Football Team after sustaining a back injury in the Buccaneers’ 36-27 setback to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 31. He’s officially listed as questionable.

Gronkowski, 32, has 16 catches for 184 yards with four touchdowns in four games this season for the Bucs (6-3).

Murphy-Bunting, 24, remains on injured reserve after sustaining a dislocated elbow in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Brown, 33, has 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games this season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

No timetable for WR Antonio Brown’s (ankle) return

Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown made an appearance at practice Wednesday on a crutch and coach Bruce Arians said there is no timetable for his return from an ankle sprain.

Arians said the sprain is near Brown’s heel. He was asked if Brown might be able to return after the team’s bye in Week 9.

“Could be after the bye (Nov. 14) or could be a long time,” Arians said. “It’s wait and see.”

However, tight end Rob Gronkowski was back on the practice field in pads amid reports he’ll be ready to play this Sunday. Gronkowski has missed the past four weeks with cracked ribs and a punctured lung. He has 16 catches for 184 yards and four TDs.

Brown missed last Sunday’s game against Chicago after sustaining the injury during the Buccaneers’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 14.

Brown has 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns.

Also back at practice Wednesday were linebacker Lavonte David (ankle) and Richard Sherman (hamstring). The pair also missed last week’s game.

The Bucs (6-1) play at New Orleans (4-2) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) celebrates as he catches the ball during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Short-handed Bucs rule out four starters for Sunday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ruled out tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Antonio Brown, linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Richard Sherman for Sunday’s game.

Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed Friday that all four injured starters will be absent when the Bucs (5-1) host the Chicago Bears (3-3).

Brown (ankle), David (ankle) and Sherman (hamstring) were all injured in Tampa Bay’s 28-22 win in Philadelphia on Oct. 14. Gronkowski (ribs) has not played since Week 3.

Brown has 29 receptions for 418 yards and a team high-tying four touchdown catches in five games.

Gronkowski has 16 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns in three games.

David has 34 tackles and one sack in five games.

Sherman made his Bucs debut against New England on Oct. 3. He has 11 tackles and one fumble recovery in three games.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) can t hang on to a pass in the end zone in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Rob Gronkowski, two others ruled out vs. Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has been ruled out of his third straight game due to his injuries.

Linebacker Lavonte David (ankle) and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion) will join Gronkowski in sitting out Thursday’s game against the host Philadelphia Eagles (2-3). Those three players did not practice this week for the Bucs (4-1).

While those three players will not play on Thursday, center Ryan Jensen (hip), defensive lineman Pat O’Connor (calf) and edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder, hand) are listed as questionable for the game. Those three players were listed as full participants in Wednesday’s practice.

Gronkowski previously told FOX Sports he sustained “four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung” in the Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Gronkowski, 32, has collected 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season.

David, 31, is expected to miss three to four weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained during Tampa Bay’s 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

David has 34 tackles and one sack in five games this season. The 10-year veteran has spent his entire career with the Buccaneers and was an All-Pro in 2013 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2015.

Winfield, 23, will miss his second straight game on Thursday. He has 25 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in four games this season.

Quarterback Tom Brady, 44, is a full-go for Thursday’s game. He injured his right (passing) thumb against Miami.

Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson (personal matter) remains away from the team and will miss his third straight game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is stopped by Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott (33) after a catch in the second half of the game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski ruled out vs. Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss his second straight game due to his injuries.

Coach Bruce Arians announced Friday that Gronkowski, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion) and defensive lineman Patrick O’Connor (calf) are ruled out for Sunday’s game against the visiting Miami Dolphins (1-3).

While those three players will not play for the Bucs (3-1) on Sunday, Arians said linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), cornerback Jamel Dean (knee) and running back Giovani Bernard (knee) are expected to draw back into the lineup. Pierre-Paul has missed the last two games, while Dean and Bernard sat out last Sunday’s 19-17 win over the New England Patriots.

Gronkowski previously told FOX Sports he sustained “four cracked ribs, one broken rib and a punctured lung” in the Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He is expected to miss multiple weeks.

The injury forced Gronkowski to miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots, with whom he won three Super Bowl championships and was named an All-Pro four times in nine seasons.

Gronkowski, 32, has collected 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) completes a pass play and runs for a first down in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski (rib) out for Patriots reunion

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski will not make the trip to New England for Sunday night’s reunion with the Patriots due to a rib injury, ESPN reported Saturday.

Gronkowski was injured during the Buccaneers’ 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday before reportedly making an appearance at practice Friday.

Sunday would have been Gronkowski’s first game against the Patriots since he left the team following the 2018 postseason. He retired that offseason, only to return to the NFL after Tom Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020.

Gronkowski, 32, has collected 16 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns this season.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection won three Super Bowls with the Patriots during his nine seasons in New England. He added his fourth Super Bowl title with the Bucs last season.

–Field Level Media

Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski, Bucs reportedly agree to 1-year deal

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) applies pressure to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Chris Streveler (15) during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady will have one of his favorite targets with him again next season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defend their Super Bowl championship.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski agreed to a one-year deal to play another season in Tampa Bay, agent Drew Rosenhaus told NFL Network and ESPN on Monday.

The Athletic and NFL Network reported that the contract will pay Gronkowski $8 million and includes the opportunity to earn another $2 million in incentives.

Gronkowski tweeted a gif of Patchy the Pirate from SpongeBob SquarePants saying, “Arrr You Ready Kids?!?”

Gronkowski, 31, came out of retirement before the 2020 season to reunite with his former New England Patriots quarterback, Brady, in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers’ title last month gave Brady a record seven Super Bowl titles while Gronkowski won his fourth.

A four-time All-Pro, Gronkowski produced mediocre numbers by his standards in the 2020 regular season: 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. In the Buccaneers’ first three playoff games, he totaled just two catches for 43 yards, but he was a key contributor in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, making six receptions for 67 yards and two TDs.

The Brady-Gronkowski connection has accounted for 14 career playoff touchdowns, the top figure for any quarterback/pass-catcher duo in league history.

Gronkowski, selected by New England in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Arizona, played for the Patriots from 2010-18, compiling 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. He topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark four times.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA;   Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs celebrate Super Bowl win with rowdy boat parade

Pandemic or not, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their Super Bowl LV championship in style on Wednesday.

With thousands of fans lining the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians enjoyed the moment with a beer in one hand and a microphone in the other.

“We have the best coaching staff in the NFL. And we damn sure have the best players in the NFL,” the 68-year-old Arians said. “We’re going to keep the band together.”

The band leader is, of course, quarterback Tom Brady, who followed up his Super Bowl MVP-winning performance in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday by completing another pass three days later. Brady tossed the Lombardi Trophy from his boat to another, with tight end Cameron Brate making the catch.

“That was the best catch of my life,” Brate said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Unbelievable. That was the best catch of my life. If I had dropped that? I think I would’ve had to retire.”

Retirement doesn’t appear to be on the table for Arians and tight end Rob Gronkowski this time around. Gronkowski, in fact, celebrated on Wednesday with his shirt off and beads around his neck.

On the heels of his record fifth Super Bowl MVP award, the 43-year-old Brady appeared to be a bit tipsy after making it safely back to land. Third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin was seen helping him off the boat.

Brady had a little fun on social media at his own expense.

The Buccaneers can afford to have a little fun after recording their second Super Bowl title in franchise history, even if they could not celebrate in unbridled fashion. Tampa Bay’s mayor Jane Castor had implored attendees on foot to respect social distancing guidelines and asked fans to don masks, rules which appeared to be followed by some, not all.

Of the many private boats and vessels also floating nearby, they were asked to remain at least 50 feet from all boats carrying players and members of the organization.

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski before a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arians not concerned by Gronk’s lack of production

Rob Gronkowski has only two catches for 11 yards through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first two games, but coach Bruce Arians’ isn’t concerned about the tight end’s lack of production in the passing game.

Gronkowski, 31, was only targeted once and did not have a catch in the Bucs’ 31-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. That came after catching two passes for 11 yards on four targets in the season-opening loss in New Orleans.

“We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends. That’s what we have receivers for (and) that’s the way our offense is built,” Arians said Monday. “Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”

Gronkowski ended a one-year retirement to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa. Brady has thrown 71 passes through the first two games, with only four of them intended for his long-time teammate in New England.

“I don’t think they’re paying that much attention to him,” Arians said of opposing defenses. “Tom has the ball, he decides where it’s going, so he’s reading the defenses and he’s taking whatever they’re giving him. We don’t force passes to anybody.”

Fellow tight end O.J. Howard has been targeted nine times and has five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Arians also said he does not anticipate Leonard Fournette overtaking Ronald Jones for the starting running back job in the near future.

Fournette led the Bucs with 103 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries Sunday, while Jones managed 23 yards with a score on seven carries. Fournette also had four catches to Jones’ two and was in on 43 percent of the Bucs’ offensive snaps compared to Jones’ 34 percent.

“I think everybody’s role is good right now,” Arians said when asked if Fournette might move into the starting role. “There’s no need for that. He’s still doesn’t know enough of this offense yet to be the starter.

“To have Leonard come in with fresh legs in the fourth quarter and pound it like that — very few teams have that combination.”

Arians said that wide receiver Chris Godwin has passed through the concussion protocol and will be available for this week’s game against the Denver Broncos after sitting out against Carolina.

–Field Level Media

Mar 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;A general view of Raymond James Stadium at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brady, Bucs won’t play before home fans to start season

Fans in Tampa Bay will have to wait to see Tom Brady in person on their home field.

The Buccaneers became the 26th NFL franchise on Wednesday to announce that they will not have fans in the stands when the home season opens because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Bucs have ruled out a crowd for the first two games at Raymond James Stadium: Sept. 20 against the Carolina Panthers and Oct. 4 when they host the Los Angeles Chargers.

The team said it is targeting the Oct. 18 game against the Green Bay Packers for the return of some fans.

The 2020 season is a highly anticipated one in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers will unveil an offense led by Brady, a six-time Super Bowl winner. The arrival of Brady and his former New England Patriots teammate, tight end Rob Gronkowski, have Bucs fans envisioning another Super Bowl appearance of their own.

If that happens, the Buccaneers would be the first team to play in the championship game on their home turf. Super Bowl LV is scheduled to be played Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium.

The Bucs have one Super Bowl victory in their history. They beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego in 2003. Jon Gruden, now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, led Tampa Bay to the championship.

–Field Level Media