Mike Tomlin knew the topic of interest for his Wednesday press conference would be centered around Antonio Brown.
While speaking to reporters, the Steelers coach revealed he wasn’t able to communicate with his wide receiver late Friday and early Saturday after he had dealt with soreness in his knee, ankle and feet last week.
Tomlin outlined what transpired during that time leading up to Sunday’s win over the Bengals, which Brown was inactive for.
“He came in on Wednesday and expressed soreness in his lower body,” Tomlin said as he addressed Brown’s presence on the injury report.
Given the ailments lasted all week, the team sent Brown to get an MRI exam on Friday. However, they were unable to reach him after he failed to show up and later skipped Saturday’s walkthrough.
Tomlin insisted he was an “active participant” in trying to get in touch with Brown, but instead was contacted by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. He informed Tomlin on Sunday that his client was ready to play, though it had already been determined that Brown would not.
Tomlin confirmed Brown sat out due to “injury and lack of information” rather than discipline-related issues, adding that the team hasn’t received an official trade request despite conflicting reports that he wants out of Pittsburgh.
While Tomlin spoke of the turmoil at the podium, Brown took to Twitter and shared a statement. While the tweet was cryptic, the timing appeared to be purposeful.
Happy New Year. Be great. pic.twitter.com/QLna1LRncL
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) January 2, 2019
“My options may seem limited by people or circumstances. It is then that I remind myself I am in command of my attitude,” Brown wrote. “I am divinely blessed with free will. I utilize that gift, choosing to take charge of my life; to express the creativity, vitality, and wholeness that truly define me.”
Tomlin ended his media availability by saying the team won’t speculate on their future and will “pause” to reflect on 2018 before dealing with what’s to come in the 2019 offseason.