Antonio Brown is finally sharing his side of what went down on Sunday’s game against the Jets that led to his 3rd quarter outburst.
Brown said in a statement released by his attorney that he continued to play due to pressure from Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. The medical staff even injected him with what he now knows “was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller.”
“Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it my all for the team.”
When the pain became too bearable to withstand, Brown repeatedly pleaded with Arians to let him sit out the rest of the game. Eventually Brown took a seat on the sidelines, and that’s when Arians began to berate the wide receiver.
“I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. On top of that, the pain was extreme. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I told him, ‘It’s my ankle.’ But he knew that.”
Brown said he continued to plead with Arians about not being able to play. Arians had enough of AB and told him to leave.
“He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, “YOU’RE DONE!” while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.”
Brown maintained that he did not quit, he was cut, and that he did not walk away from his team. “They are telling people that first I walked off, then I was cut. No. No. No. I was cut first and then I went home. They threw me out like an animal and I refused to wear their brand on my body, so I took my jersey off.”
AB also stated in his statement that he received an MRI on his ankle the next day. The MRI showed that there were broken bone fragments stuck in his ankle, along with a torn ligament, and cartilage loss.
“What they did not know until now is that on Monday morning I had an urgent MRI on my ankle. It shows broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful. You can see the bone bulging from the outside. But that must and can be repaired.”