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Raiders' Jon Gruden Says Antonio Brown Will Play in Week 1 Despite Foot Injuries

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown warms up during an official team activity at the NFL football team's headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden downplayed the recent drama surrounding wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

"We've had a pretty good understanding, despite what people think, of what was going to happen," Gruden told reporters Tuesday.

He added he expects Brown to play when the Raiders open the season Sept. 9 against the Denver Broncos.

Brown has been absent from much of Oakland's offseason activities.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he suffered "extreme frostbite" on his feet when he didn't wear the right kind of footwear during a cryotherapy session. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, provided an update Tuesday:

Vic Tafur @VicTafur

Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Brown needed laser treatment for his feet

Scott Bair @BairNBCS

Rosenhaus said “it’s frostbite” and that Brown’s feet were hard to even look at at first. He has finished treatment with the specialist and was able to return. Drew said his absence had far more to do with his feet than his helmet.

Scott Bair @BairNBCS

Rosenhaus said he can’t discuss detail of AB’s foot injury because of a possible legal action.

The seven-time Pro Bowler has also been embroiled in a dispute with the NFL regarding the style of helmet he's permitted to wear. According to Schefter, he was prepared to retire from football altogether if he wasn't allowed to use his preferred Schutt Air Advantage helmet.

The helmet in question was more than 10 years old and thus lost its National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment certification.

Brown filed a grievance as a result, with an independent arbitrator ruling against him, per USA Today's Mike Jones. As a compromise, Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith reported the NFL will allow Brown to wear a newer version of the Schutt Air Advantage, which the company ceased production of in 2011.

AB @AB84

"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."

Rosenhaus confirmed Tuesday that Brown has found a helmet that falls within the 10-year window and that he needs to get it "reconditioned and recertified" before he can wear it on the field.