The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown was absent from practice Sunday, and general manager Mike Mayock sounded fed up with the star wideout.
FILE PHOTO: Aug 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) stretches next to his helmet against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
“Y’all know that AB is not here today, right?” Mayock said, addressing reporters in a video that was distributed on the Oakland Raiders’ Twitter page.
“So here’s the bottom line: He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that; we appreciate that. OK? But at this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So, from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in or all out.
“We’re hoping he’s back soon. We have 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going, and we hope AB is going to be a big part of it, Week 1 in Denver. End of story, no questions.”
Brown was a full participant in the team’s walkthrough on Saturday, but he has had only one full-speed practice and two walkthroughs, in part because he was recovering from foot blisters caused by a cryotherapy mishap and lately because of the helmet issue.
His old helmet is no longer approved for NFL use because it is more than 10 years old, and when Brown used social media to find a newer version of his favored model — the Schutt AiR Advantage — it failed NFL testing.
The league’s requirement of approved helmets technically applies to all practices and games, with teams at risk of punishment for any of their players who practice or play with disapproved helmets.
The Raiders acquired the seven-time Pro Bowl selection from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade in March and later signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million contract.
Brown, 31, caught at least 100 passes and exceeded 1,200 receiving yards in each of the past six seasons with the Steelers. He has appeared in 130 games with Pittsburgh from 2010-18, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.
—Field Level Media