Antonio Brown to Participate in Patriots Practice Amid Rape Allegations

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2019

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15:  Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Oakland Raiders warms up before the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday that wide receiver Antonio Brown would be at practice, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.

Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a civil lawsuit against Brown on Tuesday alleging that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions, per TMZ.

While speaking to the media, Belichick addressed how the Patriots plan to handle Brown amid the allegations against him:

According to Breer, Belichick also said, "Both Antonio and his representative have made statements ... We've looked into the situation, we're taking it very seriously."

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported Wednesday that the NFL is giving "serious consideration" to placing Brown on paid leave via the commissioner's exempt list.

Maske noted that a meeting was planned for Wednesday, and while Brown hasn't been charged with a crime, he can still be placed on the exempt list if an investigation shows Brown violated the personal conduct policy.

In a statement released by Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, Brown said he and Taylor were involved in a "consensual personal relationship."

The Patriots signed Brown to a one-year deal with a team option for 2020 on Saturday following his release from the Oakland Raiders.

Brown was cut by Oakland after he went public with his dismay regarding fines for missing practice time related to a helmet grievance. Brown also got into a verbal confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, per ESPN's Josina Anderson.

While Brown did not play in New England's 33-3 Week 1 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he is eligible to feature against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.

If Brown does play, quarterback Tom Brady would have the benefit of throwing to a seven-time Pro Bowler in addition to wideouts Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett, as well as pass-catching running back James White.

Per Caesars, the Patriots are 19-point favorites on the road against Miami after the Baltimore Ravens beat the Dolphins 59-10 in Miami in Week 1.

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