Jon Gruden: Antonio Brown Has Raiders' Support; Confident He'll Be 'Huge Factor'

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IAugust 11, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Antonio Brown wasn't present at the Oakland Raiders' preseason opener Saturday night, but he was a topic of conversation afterward.

"There's been a lot of reports out there," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said following his team's 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Coliseum, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I can't say I agree with all of them. ... This foot injury wasn't his fault, and it's a serious injury. ... And the helmet thing is a personal matter to him ... and we're supporting him."

Gruden added, per Around the NFL: "We're confident he's going to be a huge factor for the Raiders for years to come."

Earlier this week, it was reported that Brown had suffered frostbite on his feet from undergoing cryotherapy in France without proper footwear. Separately, the 31-year-old All-Pro receiver has an ongoing dispute with the NFL over the league's policy that prohibits him from wearing the helmet he's worn his entire career.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert reported that the NFL's policy requiring all players to wear helmets certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment has excluded Brown's helmet—also worn by the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady—"because it is more than 10 years old."

NFL Network's Michael Silver provided an in-depth 20-tweet thread about Brown's helmet situation Friday, including the following:

ESPN's Adam Schefter added that Brown has told Raiders officials he will not play unless he is able to wear his preferred helmet.

"I think we're all disappointed," Gruden previously told The Athletic's Lindsay Jones on Aug. 2 pertaining to Brown's absence from training camp. "We want to get the party started."

The Raiders acquired Brown in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he had spent his entire career, in March. The seven-time Pro Bowler's tenure in Pittsburgh came to as dramatic an ending as the beginning of his time in Oakland.

Brown vaguely addressed what has unfolded over the last week in an Instagram post Friday captioned, "I love the game; I love the hustle; young-in got doe he can leave the league but if I leave will the fans still gone love me man?"

Brown is signed to a three-year, $50.125 million contract with the Raiders. Should Brown take the field for Oakland, Gruden will hope to see the same man that has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for six consecutive seasons.

Related

    Raiders are in Canada for their third preseason game: Here’s how to watch

    Oakland Raiders logo
    Oakland Raiders

    Raiders are in Canada for their third preseason game: Here’s how to watch

    Silver And Black Pride
    via Silver And Black Pride

    Patrick Chung Indicted on Felony Cocaine Possession Charge

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Patrick Chung Indicted on Felony Cocaine Possession Charge

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Leftwich and Arians Hope to Change the NFL by Changing the Bucs

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Leftwich and Arians Hope to Change the NFL by Changing the Bucs

    The Ringer
    via The Ringer

    Lamarcus Joyner Embracing Raiders Leadership Role

    Oakland Raiders logo
    Oakland Raiders

    Lamarcus Joyner Embracing Raiders Leadership Role

    NBCS Bay Area
    via NBCS Bay Area