Antonio Brown continues to go on the offensive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Wednesday night, he released a statement through his lawyer saying he was asked to play under “pressure” and detailing a sideline conversation with Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians that preceded Brown taking off his jersey and walking off the field against the New York Jets on Sunday.
In it, he claimed Arians lied about the incident — and about his knowledge of the injury — in the postgame press conference. He called the actions of the coach and organization “part of an ongoing coverup,” and that a Monday MRI revealed significant injuries to the ankle, and said he would be undergoing surgery.
The saga continued on Thursday morning, when the wide receiver shared conversations he said were between him and Arians in the days leading up to last week’s game.
“This is BA. Make sure your [sic] ready to go tomorrow. We ARE NOT resting for the playoffs,” one text from Arians read.
Brown sent back a picture of him apparently getting treatment for his injured ankle, and wrote:
“I’m all in coach really cain’t get to full speed I wanna win wanna be there if I wake up tomorrow feel better I’ll be ready kinda rolled it outside on 2pt play I want what’s best for team lmk when you free I’ll call u.”
Brown also called out Tom Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero, which said he paid Guerrero for treatment Guerrero never provided.
“How u even work wit people like this!” Brown wrote as commentary. “This is what I was dealing wit.”
The string of social media posts followed a lengthy statement from Brown’s attorney Sean Burstyn.
Read the statement here:
“Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured,” Brown said in the statement. “Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with a dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave my all for the team. I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities.”
Brown was in his second season with Tampa Bay, having won the Super Bowl with the team last season.
“I love the Bucs fans. I really do,” Brown said. “I love my teammates and everyone who showed me grace and believed in me. I gave the Bucs everything I had on the field. What the organization is doing now needs to get cleaned up. I do not understand how people publicly claiming to be concerned about my mental health can do these things to me in private.”
According to NFL transactions, Brown still has not been formally released from his contract.
Amin Touri can be reached at email@example.com.