AB: Bucs tried to force me to play through injury

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TAMPA, Fla. – In his first statement since leaving the field in the third quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Antonio Brown said he was forced to play on an injured ankle that will require surgery, which it is therefore, he left so abruptly.

An MRI scan on Monday revealed broken bone fragments, a ligament torn from the bone and cartilage loss, the broad recipient said in a lengthy statement released Wednesday night.

Brown also accused the Buccaneers of mischaracterizing his outburst on the court as a “mental health problem” rather than a refusal to play due to pain.

The Buccaneers had no immediate comment on Brown’s statement as they were reached later Wednesday night.

Brown was on the field for 26 games before his exit Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Outraged at the sideline, he took off his shirt, pillows and undershirt, and he threw his shirt and gloves out onto the stand. He then crashed across the goal zone while both teams were on the field, waving to fans as he walked to the locker room.

After the game, Bucs coach Bruce Arians denied having knowledge that Brown was injured, a point he reiterated Monday. Asked if Brown told him he was injured, Arians said, “No.”

However, wideout’s attorney Sean Burstyn told ESPN that Brown told training staff and Arians that he felt he was too hurt to continue in the game and that Brown’s ankle had been discussed with the coach and training staff during the week.

Brown said the same in his statement.

“I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I said to him, ‘That’s my ankle.’ “He knew that. It was well documented and we had discussed it,” Brown said. “Then he ordered me to come on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can not.’ He did not call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while running his finger across his neck. The coach told me that if I did not play bad, then I was done with Bucs. “

He added that what happened made him leave the field.

“I know we lost to the Jets and it was frustrating for all of us. But I could not play football on that ankle,” he said. “Yes, I left the field. But there’s a big difference between launching from the line and taking blows, compared to jogging off the field with a whiff of emotion going through your mind. I reflect on my reaction, but there was a trigger. The trigger was one that told me not to feel pain. “

After the match, Arians said Brown was no longer a Buc, which he repeated on Wednesday – although the team has not yet formally released him.

Brown claimed on Wednesday that despite having severed ties with him, Bucs is trying to dictate his medical treatment, even though he has already planned surgery.

“You can see the bone bulge from the outside. But it must and can be repaired,” he said. “MRI has been read by two of the best orthopedic surgeons in NYC, including Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Without realizing that I had already planned an operation at HSS, Bucs ‘ordered’ me under disciplinary action and with a few hours’ notice to appear to a junior doctor at HSS for another opinion. “

Brown first suffered the ankle injury in Week 6 and missed five games. He was then suspended for three games after an NFL investigation revealed he had produced a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

He returned in week 15 against Carolina Panthers, catch 10 passes for 101 receiving yards. But he also exacerbated the injury, and as a result, he was a non-participant in the Thursday and Friday training sessions last week and was officially questionable leading into the Jets game.

Arians was not at these training sessions because he was quarantined at home after testing positive for COVID-19, but he was kept up to date with all training sessions and player statuses.

Brown had several significant off-field mistakes before signing with Tampa Bay, but had not had any incidents with the Bucs before his outburst on Sunday. Arians had called him a “model citizen.”

Arians expressed support for Brown on Monday, saying it was difficult to see him break out on the sidelines.

“It was very hard,” Arians said. “I wish him all the best. If he needs help, I hope he gets something. It’s very difficult. Because I care about him.”

“I like him a lot. I hope he’s okay.”

Brown’s statement in its entirety:

“First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Bucs, fans and my teammates. Bucs helped me return to productive football after I had difficulties that could have ended my career. We worked together to resolve these difficulties. , and I will always appreciate it.Being part of a Super Bowl championship team and then a graduate is a dream come true.

“I make mistakes. I work on myself and I have positive influences around me. But one thing I do not do is shy away from playing hard on the pitch. No one can accuse me of not giving everything I plays every time I play.

“Because of my commitment to the game, I gave in to the pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I fit well, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that The NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave my all for the team. I played until it became clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing tasks. On top of that, the pain was extreme. I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you? “I said to him, ‘That’s my ankle.’ But he knew it. It was well documented, and we had discussed it. Then he ordered me to come on the field. I said, “Coach, I can not.” He did not call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me: ‘YOU ARE DONE!’ while running his finger across his neck.Coach told me that if I did not play bad, then I was done with Bucs.

“I did not resign. I was cut. I did not walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out. Being fired on the sidelines for having a painful injury was bad enough. Then came their ‘spin.’ Coach declined on national television , that he knew about my ankle. It’s 100% inaccurate. Not only did he know I was missing several fights with the injury, he and I exchanged texts days before the fight where he clearly acknowledged my injury. He knew, of course, that I was on the injury list and GM admitted after the match in text messages to my camp that I told the coach about my ankle pain on Sunday.

“I know we lost to the Jets and it was frustrating for all of us. But I could not play football on that ankle. Yes, I went off the field. But there is a big difference between launching from the line and taking shots. , compared to jogging off the track with a rush of emotions going through your mind. I reflect on my reaction, but there was a trigger. The trigger was one that told me not to feel pain. I acknowledge my past But my past does not make me a second-class citizen My past does not lose my right to be heard when I am in pain.

“First they cut me. Now they’re holding me in a cage. Instead of asking how I was or getting to the bottom of it, the team texted my camp and promoted a completely false story, which I happened to play out without any explanation. They even told us in writing, “do not spin this” in any other way. I have stress, I have things I need to work on. But the worst part of this has been the Bucs’ repeated attempts to portray this as a random outburst. They tell people that first I left, then I was cut. No. No. No. I was cut first and then I went home. They threw me out like an animal and I refused to wear their mark on the body, so I took my sweater off.

“As part of their ongoing cover-up, they behave as if I were not cut and now demand that I see a doctor of my choice to examine my ankle. What they did not know until now is that I morning had an acute MRI on my ankle. It shows broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone and cartilage loss which is more than painful. You can see the bone bulge from the outside. But it must and can be repaired. MRI is has been read by two top orthopedic surgeons in NYC, including Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery.Not realizing that I had already planned an operation at HSS, Bucs ‘ordered’ me under disciplinary action and with a few hours notice to meet up with a younger doctor at HSS to get a different opinion.What a joke.They play as if I was not cut, giving me a surprise attack ‘order’ to show up to another doctor without any reasonable notice, and set it all up as a basis for cutting me, fo rdi what they did on sunday was not legal. Sorry, GM. I have already received an affirmative opinion from Top Doc at the hospital you ‘ordered’ me to go to.

“I love the Bucs fans. I really do. I love my teammates and everyone who showed me mercy and believed in me. I gave the Bucs everything I had on the field. What the organization is doing now needs to be cleaned up. I do not understand how people who publicly claim to be concerned about my mental health can do these things against me privately.

“When my surgery is done, I will be back to 100% and looking forward to next season. Business is gonna be BOOMIN!”

Burstyn also issued a statement Wednesday night, saying in part: “Antonio has never falsified an injury in his life. It is unbelievable that people make false rumors that what happened on Sunday was the result of mental problems and not a well-known ankle injury. Why should they embark on a false concealment? To avoid liability for ignoring the risk of serious injury to win a game. “

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