Brown gets OK to play, re­port says

The Morning Call - - SPORTS -

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.

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