First it was Antonio Brown’s toes that made information. Now it’s his head.
Brown, the star receiver who joined the Raiders this 12 months, seems to have misplaced an ongoing dispute about his helmet. In quick, Brown prefers to put on the make of helmet he has been sporting for years, however the N.F.L. says that sort, now 10 years previous, is not authorised.
On Monday an arbitrator dominated towards Brown’s grievance.
“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision,” Brown wrote on Instagram, “I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field. I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet.”
For those that missed it, the well being challenge Brown referred to is blistering and peeling of his toes, which has stored him out of coaching camp. It emerged final week that the damage was frostbite, attributable to a visit to a cryogenic remedy chamber.
There are conflicting stories about why Brown prefers the previous helmet, and he has stored comparatively silent about it. One idea being put ahead is that the brand new helmet impacts his imaginative and prescient, whereas different stories say it’s extra of a consolation challenge. There have been additionally stories that Brown went as far as to threaten to retire if he couldn’t put on his helmet of selection, although his assertion Monday appeared to indicate that he deliberate to return.
The league has phased out previous helmets as a result of they don’t meet new requirements of security. Players got a one-year grace interval, however that expires this season. A couple of dozen gamers, together with Tom Brady, continued to put on previous helmets final 12 months.
Brady has additionally expressed a desire for the previous helmet, saying on WEEI: “I don’t really love the one that I’m in, but I don’t have much of a choice.”
NFL.com had perhaps the wildest and most complete account of Brown’s helmet issue. The reporter Michael Silver said that at organized team activities in the spring, Brown tried several times to sneak onto the field in an old helmet, even going so far as to have it repainted in the Raiders’ design.
Coach Jon Gruden of the Raiders stood by Brown, saying Saturday: “This foot injury wasn’t his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn’t his fault, and it’s a serious injury.”
“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. And we understand the league’s position as well, so we’re in a tough spot.”
The Raiders are being featured this year on “Hard Knocks,” the HBO and N.F.L. Films fly-on-the-wall documentary series that annually takes a close look at one N.F.L. team. The second episode was to be broadcast Tuesday night, and the various Brown sagas would seem likely to provide particularly interesting fodder, should they be included. In the first episode, Brown was seen running sprints at top speed despite coaches urging him to slow down because of the injury to his feet.
After nine years with the Steelers, seven of them as a Pro Bowler, Brown was traded to the Raiders in March. He is due to make a guaranteed $30 million over the next three years. There is still no formal timetable for his return to practice.
And when Brown does return, it now seems as if he will have to wear a new make of helmet. Or will he? On Tuesday morning Brown seemed to have a new tactic in mind when he wrote on Twitter: “I’m looking for a Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after. In exchange I will trade a signed practice worn @Raiders helmet.”
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