Why did Antonio Brown leave Buccaneers? Star receiver claims he was ‘cut’ following refusal to play injured

Antonio Brown has issued a statement explaining his collapse on the sideline in the Buccaneers-Jets game on Sunday, leading to his apparent release in Tampa Bay.

Brown, in a statement released Wednesday through his attorney Sean Burstyn, said he was “triggered” by an interaction with coach Bruce Arians after the latter “ordered” the star catcher to return to the field. That back and forth was the basis for Brown’s collapse, which saw him remove his shoulder pads, jersey and gloves before leaving the stadium.

Jay glazer Fox’s NFL reported after the game that Arians said he twice asked Brown to come into the game before telling him to come out. Peter King from NBC Sports He corroborated that report, adding that when Arians asked Brown to play, the catcher said, “No, I’m not going in.”

Arians, who said “I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years,” wasted no time after the game saying that Brown was no longer a Buccaneer. In his statement, Brown said he felt Arians “cut” him at that point in the game, based on his refusal to play with what he described as a significant ankle injury (Arians said after the game that Brown’s injury did not appear during their conversation).

Here is everything you need to know about Brown’s statement and his account of Sunday’s events:

Why did Antonio Brown leave the Buccaneers?

Brown said in his statement He “gave in to pressure” from Arians to play injured, claiming that Tampa Bay injected him with a pain reliever that would allow him to overcome his discomfort against the Jets. He finished with three receptions for 26 yards on five goals before sitting on the bench in “extreme” pain.

At that point, Brown said, Arians approached him on the bench.

“I sat on the sidelines and my coach came up to me, very upset, and yelled at me: ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I said, ‘It’s my ankle,’ “Brown said in the statement. “But he knew it. It was well documented and we had discussed it. Then he ordered me to go out into the field.”

“I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t ask for medical attention, but instead yelled at me, “You’re done!” as he ran his finger down his throat. The coach told me that if I didn’t play it hurt, then I was done with the Bucs. I did not give up. They cutted me “.

Brown acknowledged that emotions were hot at the time, considering Tampa Bay was behind New York. But he said the ultimate reason for his departure was his interaction with Arians.

“I know we were losing to the Jets and that was frustrating for all of us,” Brown said. “But I couldn’t make football plays on that ankle.” I left the field. But there is a difference between throwing from the line and taking hits, compared to jogging off the field with a flood of emotions running through your mind.

“I’m reflecting on my reaction, but there was a trigger. The trigger was someone telling me I couldn’t feel pain,” Brown continued. “I recognize my past. But my past does not make me a second-class citizen. My past does not lose my right to be heard when I am hurting.

“They cut me off first and then I walked home.”

Was Antonio Brown injured during the Jets game?

According to a report by Rick Stroud after the game, Brown’s injury was more serious than the Buccaneers initially revealed, preventing him from practicing Thursday and Friday before the game and limiting him to practice Wednesday. It was reportedly bad enough that Brown’s friends encouraged him to get the opinion of a surgeon outside the Tampa Bay organization.

Presumably the same ankle injury that landed the seven-time Pro Bowler on IR earlier in the season.

Brown in his statement also claimed that he and Arians sent text messages in the days leading up to the game in which the latter “clearly acknowledged my injury.” Brown also said general manager Jason Licht acknowledged after the game that Brown told Arians about his injury Sunday.

What is Antonio Brown’s injury?

Brown in his statement said he received an MRI on his ankle on Monday, which allegedly revealed “bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the torn ligament of the bone and the loss of cartilage, which are beyond painful.”

Brown, who is still in the Buccaneers List Y injury report Even though Arians said he was no longer on the team, he also claimed that the MRI had been read by two of the best orthopedic doctors in New York City. He also said the team “ordered” him to get a second opinion from a team-approved doctor, unaware that he had already received opinions outside the organization.

Will Antonio Brown play again?

Despite a history of player problems that have seen him leave the Steelers, Raiders, Patriots and Buccaneers and get suspended by the NFL, Brown said his intention is to play again next season:

“Once my surgery is complete, I will go back to 100 percent and look forward to next season,” Brown said. “Business is going to be booming!”

Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time First Team All-Pro, has twice led the NFL in receptions (2014 and ’17), twice led the league in receptions (2014 and ’15) and once led the league in receiving touchdowns (2018).

However, it is uncertain whether the production he is undoubtedly capable of (928 career receptions for 12,291 yards and 83 touchdowns) is worth the headaches that have accompanied him at each of his previous saves.