Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown has his career back after 2 years of self-inflicted setbacks

Brown was highly productive for the Bucs after serving an eight-game suspension. He’ll be appearing in his second Super Bowl.

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Antonio Brown was one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL until problems on and off the field derailed him, beginning in 2018.

Antonio Brown was one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL until problems on and off the field derailed him, beginning in 2018.

Kevin Sabitus/AP

Leading up to the Super Bowl a year ago, the only involvement wide receiver Antonio Brown had with football was hearing his name come up at the annual commissioner’s press conference as Roger Goodell spoke about him needing to get help just to be “successful in life,” let alone return to the NFL.

Whether Brown has indeed righted himself as a person is for him — and the courts — to determine, but he has reclaimed his playing career as he gets ready for a Super Bowl appearance with the Buccaneers.

“It’s been a long journey, man, over the course of a year and a half of scrutiny [and] adversity — you name it and I’ve been through it,” Brown said. “But it didn’t stop me. It didn’t make me want to give up. I just got persistent. I made a plan, wrote out my goals, set my intention of what I want out of my life.

“I’m grateful to be in this moment, but I know there’s still a long way to go.”

Brown, 32, is questionable with a knee injury but expected to play Sunday against the Chiefs.

The NFL suspended Brown for the first eight games of the season following a sexual assault allegation (his civil trial is scheduled for December) and other felony and misdemeanor charges. When he returned, he caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns in the second half of the season.

It was a strong return after losing virtually all of the 2019 season because of disastrous stint with the Raiders and quick dismissal from the Patriots. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was instrumental in helping Brown get what he called “my only chance” to get back in the NFL.

“These guys really embraced me,” Brown said. “They didn’t let words on the street or what they heard about [stop them]. They took me in, and it’s been a tremendous honor to be here.”

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