Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown said he was playing the injury in the middle of the field on Sunday against the New York Jets under the team’s knowledge that he would undergo ankle surgery. Brown said in a lengthy statement released Wednesday evening, his first public remarks since Sunday’s game.
Earlier this week, head coach Bruce Arian said Brown did not tell the coaches that he was injured. The team did not make any roster moves with the Browns on Monday, despite Arian saying after the game that the Browns were “no longer a book”.
“Because of my commitment to the sport, I agreed to put pressure on the injury straight from my coach. Despite the pain, I adapted, with the staff giving me a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller called The NFLPA warned against using it, and I gave it my all for the team,” Brown wrote in a statement. “I played until it became clear that I could no longer use my ankle to perform my sporting responsibilities safely. On top of that, the pain was extreme.
“I sat on the sidelines and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I told him, ‘This is my ankle.’ But he knew. It was well documented and we discussed it. Then he ordered me to come on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t call for therapy. Instead, he yelled at me, ‘You’re done!’ When he swung his finger around his throat. The coach was telling me that if I didn’t play with an injury, I was done with the Books.”
Brown said he had an MRI on Monday morning and said it showed fragments of broken bone, a “torn ligament” and loss of cartilage in his ankle. He alleged that two “top orthopedic surgeons” reviewed the MRI, and he prescribed surgery, but Bux demanded that he see “the doctor of his choice”.
Thursday, Brown Tweeted what appears to be a text exchange With Arian in which he explained that he “can’t reach full speed” but wanted to be prepared for Sunday’s game against the Jets.
brown Sudden exit from Sunday’s game In the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s comeback victory. Brown appeared frustrated in the middle of the team’s touchdown drive. He pulled off his uniform and shoulder pads when teammate Mike Evans tried to calm him down. Brown took off his undershirt and gloves, throwing them at the crowd behind the benches of the Books.
Brown held three receptions 26 yards apart before heading into the locker room. The Buccaneers beat the Jets 28-24 with Tom Brady’s game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass to Cyril Grayson with 15 seconds remaining on the clock.
“It’s obviously a tough situation,” Brady said of the Browns postgame. “We all love her and care about her deeply. … I think everyone should be kind and empathetic towards some very difficult things.”
Arian declined to say on Monday what he and Brown had talked about before WR left the field on Sunday.
“I don’t know if he was (injured),” Arian said. “It’s pretty clear what happened. He left the field and that was it. We talked and he left the field.”
Arians said he has not been in contact with Brown since the game. Later on Monday night, Brown was seen sitting on the edge of the court during the Nets’ 118-104 win over the Grizzlies.
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