By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Antonio Brown had a travel bag in front of his locker on Friday. Now it's known that the Patriots' newest wide receiver is indeed making the trip to Miami - and he'll make it on the field, too.
The NFL Network's Mike Giardi first reported on Saturday that Brown traveled with the Patriots to southern Florida, and Ian Rapoport later added that the receiver is expected to play against the Dolphins. Brown is likely to wear No. 17 after changing from the temporary No. 1 (pictured above) and would be active on just his seventh day as an official member of the Patriots' roster.
There was precedent for the Patriots to sit a new receiver for a week as he gets up to speed on the offense. Josh Gordon came over during Week 3 of the 2018 season, but sat against the Lions before making his Patriots debut in Week 4. It appears that head coach Bill Belichick feels comfortable activating Brown despite the lack of time he's had to learn the playbook.
"Yeah, I mean, [Brown has] a long way to go," Belichick said on Friday. "Obviously, he's not familiar with our offense. The systems that he's been in have been quite different. Jon [Gruden] does the West Coast offense, which there's very little carryover from their system to our system. Not bad or good – just we've had players before. It's just not all going to carry over, and a similar thing in Pittsburgh. You know, he's working hard to pick it up, and we're working hard to get it to him."
Despite Brown's immense talent, even if he does play on Sunday it's likely the Patriots would have to limit the playbook for him. But all signs are pointing to him getting his first targets as a Patriot in Miami.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].