Antonio Brown has claimed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers forced him to play despite knowing he had a serious ankle injury.
The wide receiver made headlines on Sunday after walking off mid-way through the Bucs game against the New York Jets.
Now, in a statement released by Brown via his attorney Sean Burstyn, the 33-year-old has claimed that he was given “powerful and dangerous” painkillers by the Bucs medical team before playing in Sunday’s game.
“Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, 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 it my all for the team,” he said.
“I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. 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 told him, ‘It’s my ankle.’ But he knew that,” he added.
Brown also claims that head coach Bruce Arians told him if he didn’t continue to play he would be cut from the team.
“Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs,” he said.
Read Brown’s full statement below.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2022