The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown had his old helmet banned by the NFL and AB may have finally accepted that policy. Brown, who joined the roster during the offseason, previously indicated he wasn’t going to play if he couldn’t use his longtime helmet.
However, the league held up their ban and now it looks like AB has decided on continuing his NFL career.
NFL holds up helmet ban, Brown concedes
In a previous report, there was mention of Antonio Brown’s threat to retire over not being able to use his older helmet. However, the NFL deemed that particular headgear unsafe for Brown to wear and indicated he would need to wear the league’s newer helmet.
Brown fought that rule, but the NFL won and upheld their initial requirement.
In acknowledgment of the NFL’s ruling, Antonio Brown posted about it on his Instagram on Monday. The Raiders receiver said in his caption
“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. I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet 🦶!”
The helmet in question was believed to be the 10-year-old Schutt Air Advantage model. Since the company no longer makes that helmet, it was not properly certified for use.
Brown tried to argue his side of things in a two-hour conference call with an independent arbitrator this past Friday.
He mentioned that with the exception of a bad hit in 2016 from Vontaze Burfict, he felt the helmet kept him safe. However, the arbitrator denied his grievance.
As far as Brown appealing the NFL’s decision, ESPN reported that a source told Adam Schefter it was “very unlikely.”
He’s not the first player to take issue with the league’s helmet either. Previously, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers voiced complaints about having to change helmets, but neither player said they would retire if not allowed to use their older helmet.
Brown looking towards return for Raiders
The Oakland Raiders made Antonio Brown a member of their team via trade this past March. In exchange, they sent a third-round and fifth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They also gave Brown a $50.125 million contract for three years.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team that originally drafted Brown at age 22 back in 2010. For his professional career, he’s racked up 11,207 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns in 130 games, so far.
"What a disaster for Jon Gruden and the Raiders…AB built his reputation based upon amazing and hard work. He has burnt it into the grounds."
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 12, 2019
Brown has been away from the Raiders ever since July 30 when he was limited during practice. Not only was his helmet of concern, but also Antonio Brown’s feet which were frostbitten in a cryotherapy session in France.
Based on his recent Instagram post, he seems to be on board with getting back on the field once he’s fully healed from that cryo incident.