(KDKA/AP) — Antonio Brown says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pressured him to play injured in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
In a statement released through his agent on Wednesday to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown said he received a painkiller shot in his ankle before the game. Brown ended up taking his jersey, pads, and undershirt off in the middle of the game before going to the locker room.
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— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2022
“I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities,” Brown said in the statement. “On top of that, the pain was extreme.”
Brown said he then sat on the sideline and told coach Bruce Arians that his ankle was injured. He claims Arians “ordered” him to get off the field and did not call for medical attention.
The former Steelers wide receiver said he did not “quit.”
“Instead, he shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while he ran his fingers across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs,” Brown’s statement said.
The wide receiver’s account of what happened goes against Arians saying this week that he did not know that Brown was injured.
“It’s pretty obvious what happened. He left the field and that was it,” Arians said on Monday.READ MORE: Protecting Your Trip: How To Avoid Unexpected Costs When Inclement Weather Impacts Travel
Pressed for details on what was said and whether Brown claimed he was too injured to play, Arians replied: “We had a conversation and he left the field.”
Asked what specifically was said that might move Brown to react the way he did, the coach added: “You have to ask him, brother. I don’t have a clue.”
Brown said in Wednesday’s statement that his injury was known throughout the organization.
“They threw me out like an animal and I refused to wear their brand on my body, so I took my jersey off,” Brown said.
In the statement, Brown said an MRI on Monday showed broken bone fragments, a ligament from the bone and cartilage loss.
The Buccaneers have not yet officially released Brown.
“Once my surgery is complete, I’ll be back to 100% and looking forward to next season,” the statement says. “Business gonna be BOOMIN!”MORE NEWS: Man Allegedly Drunkenly Breaks Into Bethel Park Apartment
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