Antonio Brown may have had legitimate ankle injury that caused Buccaneers exit, per reports

All eyes are on AB’s ankle.

Antonio Brown’s Buccaneers career came to an unceremonious end last weekend, with now-infamous images of him running across the field shirtless and saying goodbye to the MetLife Stadium crowd, the final images of him in a Tampa Bay uniform. .

While head coach Bruce Arians did not explain why Brown is no longer a member of the team, reports in recent days have shed more light on Brown’s tirade and his subsequent departure.

Brown’s ankle injury was reportedly potentially more serious than the organization hinted at. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the wide receiver’s ankle injury should have put him out of Sunday’s game, and that was “serious pain.”

Brown visited a surgeon outside of the Buccaneers organization, and that surgeon indicated that Brown has a persistent ankle problem. The injury is likely the same one that kept Brown on IR earlier in the season.

Stroud adds that a statement from Brown’s official camp will be released soon.

Arians said his conversation with Brown had nothing to do with his injury, or his collapse on the bench, and Brown made no mention of it.

Brown’s ankle injury kept him out of practice on both Thursday and Friday before the Week 17 meeting with the Jets, after being limited on Wednesday. In the game, Brown caught three passes for 26 yards before his departure. He played 26 plays.

After the game, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady urged empathy and compassion for Brown, calling the ordeal a “difficult situation.”