Antonio Brown will seemingly play this season in a new helmet.
The Raiders wide receiver’s grievance against the NFL and it’s policy to outfit Brown in a new helmet this season was denied. According to multiple reports, including one from USA Today, the arbitrator has ruled against Brown.
According to to two sources, the arbitrator has ruled against Antonio Brown in his grievance to wear the old helmet.
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) August 12, 2019
Moments after the news broke, Brown took to social media to announce he will make his way back to the Raiders when he is at “full heath.”
“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet!”
Brown had previously said, according to a report from The Athletic, which cited a source with knowledge of Friday’s hearing, “he would hold the league liable” if he were to suffer a head injury while playing in the league-mandated helmets.
The Raiders brought Brown on board with the hopes of reviving an inconsistent offense that finished with a 4-12 record last season. He has already missed the team’s first preseason game, however, he still has the support of coach Jon Gruden.
“There’s been a lot of reports out there, I can’t say I agree with all of them, certainly. But I support this guy. I think that’s what needs to be said,” Gruden said. “I don’t know what anybody’s writing or what anybody thinks but this foot injury wasn’t his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn’t his fault, and it’s a serious injury.
“I know some people are (smirking) at it but it’s really not a laughing matter. The guy was hurt. He’s innocent, he didn’t do anything wrong. And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him. He has a strong feeling about what he’s worn on his head and we’re supporting him. We understand the league’s position as well, so we’re in a tough spot. And we hope Antonio is back here soon, because he’s exciting to be around. I’m excited. I got some plays for him, I hope we can start calling them.”
Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list with a “minor injury.” The injury turned out to be frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy machine after using it “without the proper footwear,” but that wasn’t what was keeping Brown from playing.
It was reported league-wide Friday that it was, in fact, Brown’s helmet grievance, not his injury, that has kept him off the field.