The Oakland Raiders aren’t in the clear yet when it comes to star wide receiver Antonio Brown, but it appears things are getting close. Brown has been absent from the teams’ training camp while battling the NFL in a push to wear a specific helmet, and it’s led to a bit of concern thanks to recent rumblings.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter previously reported, Brown told the Raiders that he will not play football again unless the league allows him to wear his old helmet.
While that’s obviously concerning, it appears the Raiders are optimistic on the situation and have been attempting to help speed up the process a bit.
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Raiders Believe Antonio Brown Will Return Soon
Although Brown’s absence from the team’s training camp in Napa Valley is less than ideal, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur reported there’s an expectation that he’ll return soon. Even beyond that, Tafur explains that the Raiders have been sending Brown different helmets to test out.
While Brown reportedly spoke about the idea of leaving football over this situation, based on the above report it appears more likely than not that things will get sorted out. It’s worth noting that as Schefter also reported, Brown had a two-hour hearing with the league on Friday relating to his helmet.
It’s unknown whether this hearing with the NFL helped the situation in any fashion, but if Brown returns to camp in the near future, it’s likely that much of this drama will immediately land in the rearview mirror.
Raiders Frustrated With Antonio Brown?
At least initially, it appears that issues with Brown were deeper than just his helmet situation. The breakdown of the entire drama involving the star wideout was revealed in a social media thread posted by NFL reporter Mike Silver, who explained that there was “frustration” over Brown showing up late to meetings.
“Since joining the Raiders, Brown has frustrated his new bosses by showing up late to numerous meetings and by often appearing unfocused in them,” Silver stated on Twitter.
All of this goes along with the foot injuries Brown is currently dealing with, which apparently came from the misuse of a cryotherapy machine. The report came from NFL analyst Chris Simms on PFT Live, as Pro Football Talk detailed.
“On Monday, PFT Live co-host Chris Simms said that the photos posted by Brown don’t reveal blisters but the peeling of layers of skins from the bottom of his feet. Simms said that he once had a condition like that, thanks to what he called an ‘unidentified Buc fungus’ in Tampa.
After Monday’s show, Simms got word from someone with knowledge of the situation that Brown burned his feet by entering a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear, and his feet were frostbitten.”
Brown’s much-anticipated return will remain a hot-button topic, and until he’s back with the team, Raiders fans will likely feel a bit anxious about the 31-year-old wideout.