The Antonio Brown injury saga for the Oakland Raiders continues. What was once thought of to be a minor foot injury is turning into something a little more concerning for the Raiders. At this point, no news would be good news for the team because the cryotherapy debacle rumors are getting out of control. However, Brown hasn’t really kept quiet on social media. He recently received a free pair of Gucci shoes that he says are “for his blisters.”
Blisters sound a lot less bad than frostbite. It’s obviously just semantics, but there has been speculation that Brown doesn’t have frostbite. Dr. David J. Chao, a former team doctor for the Chargers, said in The San Diego Union-Tribune that was Brown has is “not technically frostbite, but Antonio Brown’s feet might have gotten worse in cryotherapy.” He goes on to say:
“Cryotherapy treatment is for just a few minutes. Frostbite doesn’t happen that quickly — with or without proper protection. Second, the pattern of injury does not appear to be frostbite, as the cold causes vasoconstriction that would be most prominent in the toes and the cold air touches more of the circumference of toes. Also, the sole of the foot would be most protected, as one typically stands on a platform so the cold air doesn’t really touch that part of the skin surface.”
Chao’s words make sense considering that if Brown’s feet were frostbitten, they would look blackened. In the now-infamous picture he posted of his wrecked feet, there doesn’t appear to be any obvious symptoms of frostbite. Dr. Chao concludes:
“My opinion is that Brown was suffering from macerated feet from too much moisture while training. In some ways, this is a milder form of ‘trench foot’ seen in soldiers from World War I. This medically seems to be the primary problem.”
The doctor’s theory sounds much more promising than what’s been floating around.
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When Could Brown Return?
The most recent report from ESPN’s Sal Palantonio suggests that there’s no timetable for Brown’s return. That could mean a lot of things. He could be back tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. It would be wise for the team to exercise caution because they don’t need their star wide receiver re-aggravating his injury. Receivers use their feet a lot, so it won’t be hard for the foot issue to get worse. The previously mentioned Dr. Chao seems confident that Brown won’t be out too long.
“In any case, it still seems Brown is on [the] path to return well before the regular season,” said Chao. “This should resolve soon. It might affect his preseason time with new quarterback Derek Carr but should not come close to affecting his regular season availability.”
It would be unfortunate if Brown doesn’t get more reps with his new offense and new quarterback before the regular season, but beggars can’t be choosers. Quarterback Derek Carr and Brown worked together extensively in the offseason, so they have some rapport. It might take a couple of weeks for Brown to get fully acclimated if he can’t practice until the regular season, but he’s talented enough that he’ll make an impact the second he steps on the field.