Buccaneers rebut Antonio Brown’s claims about injury cover-up: ‘He was cleared to play’

Antonio Brown was officially released from the Buccaneers on Thursday after his midgame meltdown in Week 17.

After the Buccaneers’ game against the Jets in which Brown ran off the field, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters that Brown was eliminated from the team. However, it took the Buccaneers until Thursday to officially release the wide receiver.

This week, Brown took to social media to share his side of the story, stating that the ankle injury he has been facing for most of the season had not improved before last Sunday’s game. The Buccaneers issued a statement Thursday after releasing Brown, stating that he was “cleared to play.” The team also said it tried to schedule an evaluation with an orthopedic specialist, but Brown did not “comply.” Here is the full statement:

Additionally, Arians spoke to the media on Thursday and said the team was not aware of the severity of Brown’s ankle injury, as Brown has been describing it.

“At no point during that game [Brown] ever ask your trainer or doctor about your ankle. It never happened, that’s normal protocol. You went through protocols during games. They never notified me of that, “Arians said.

Arians then went on to explain what happened on the sidelines that day from his point of view, saying that Brown was upset at halftime by who he was being attacked. He only had three receptions for 26 yards in the time he played.

In the third quarter, when the collapse occurred, Brown refused to go to the game, Arians said. That’s when Arians told him to get off the field because he was done.

Brown issued a statement through his attorney Wednesday that stated that Brown plans to undergo ankle surgery after the season. His future in the NFL is still uncertain. Here’s Brown’s full statement: