Brown gets OK to play, report says
Antonio Brown is eligible to make his debut for the Patriots on Sunday against the Dolphins despite being accused of rape and sexual assault of his former trainer. Whether he plays remains to be seen.
Two people with direct knowledge of the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday. Coach Bill Belichick did not indicate if Brown would play.
“We’re determining that,” Belichick said. “I’m not gonna hand out a copy of the game plan. We’ll do what we think is best for the team.”
Brown was accused in a civil case in Florida. He won’t go on the commissioner’s exempt list because no criminal charges have been filed. Brown has denied the allegations.
Players on the commissioner’s exempt list can’t play in games or practice with a team but still get paid.
Brown agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots last Saturday hours after being released following a brief and tumultuous stint with the Raiders, who acquired him in a March trade with the Steelers.
Williams asks “Odell who?”: Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams shot back against a claim by Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that Williams and his staff use dirty tactics against opposing players.
“Odell who?” Williams said.
Beckham said he jumped to catch a pass during a 2017 preseason game and was hit low by ex-Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Beckham severely sprained his ankle on the hit, which he believes was instructed by Williams and has led to other leg injuries.
“We don’t do that,” Williams said. “Never done it anywhere that I’ve been.”
Williams was suspended by the league for the 2012 season for his role in the “Bountygate” scandal in which the Saints were found to have had a system in which players were paid bonuses for hard hits and deliberately injuring players.
Torrey Smith retires: After eight seasons, wide receiver Torrey Smith announced his retirement from the NFL in a video released on Twitter on Friday.
“I’m blessed to be able to walk away from this game with most of my health, a clear mind, and a faithful heart,” Smith said in the video.
Smith, 30, was a second-round of the Ravens in 2012 and was a member of their Super Bowl winning team in 2013. He also won a championship during his lone season with the Eagles in 2017. Smith also played for the 49ers and Panthers
Fitzpatrick can seek trade: Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has requested and received permission to seek a trade but is expected to play Sunday against the Patriots.
Fitzpatrick, 22, was selected 11th overall by the Dolphins in 2018 from Alabama. As a rookie, he appeared in 16 games with 11 starts and recorded two interceptions.
When the Dolphins put Fitzpatrick at strong safety during training camp, his mother complained on Twitter that he was being asked to play out of position.