Antonio Brown created one of the biggest viral moments of the NFL season, as he suddenly left the field, when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers were facing against the New York Jets in NY — but, now it’s cost him his job.
During the game, AB was evidently angry on the sideline, as teammate Mike Evans was trying to calm him down. AB went on to throw a fit, taking his jersey and shoulder pads off and jogged off the field, and into the locker room. He also waved to fans at MetLife Stadium on his way out.
Brown Is No Longer A Buccaneer
After the Bucs’ 28-24 win over the Jets, Head Coach Bruce Arians stated that Brown is “no longer a Buc.” Now, this is officially the case.
The team officially announced Brown’s departure from the team on Thursday, per ESPN. Tampa initially had no done so throughout the week, as they appeared to be speaking to the NFL on how to finalize this situation.
Brown Says He Wouldn’t Play In Game Due To Severe Ankle Injury
For Antonio Brown’s defense, he released a long statement on Wednesday, explaining how he had a bad ankle injury, and couldn’t continue to play in the game vs the Jets.
According to AB, Head Coach Bruce Arians kicked him out of the game, after not wanting to get back into the action, and aggravating the ankle.
“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 all for the team.
“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. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ 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.
Buccaneers Claim Brown Didn’t Mention Ankle Injury
According to ESPN, the Bucs revealed that AB did receive treatment on his ankle and was on the injury report that week, but he was cleared to play. Brown also supposedly didn’t let the team know at all, that he couldn’t play in the middle of that game.
“While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday’s game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play. We have attempted, multiple times throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, yet Antonio has not complied. Maintaining the health and wellness of our players is of the utmost importance to our organization.”
It’s unclear if Brown will sign with another NFL team.