After all the talk of a suspension, or at least a Week 1 deactivation, Antonio Brown will be on the field for the Oakland Raiders Monday night.
On Thursday, in the wake of an incident with general manager Mike Mayock the previous day, the Oakland Raiders were at least thinking about suspending Antonio Brown and a Week 1 deactivation as a punishment felt certain. But on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, head coach Jon Gruden said Brown will play Monday night against the Denver Broncos.
After being told to stay away on Thursday, Brown apparently delivered an emotional apology during a team meeting Friday morning. That was enough to create a real chance he’d play against the Broncos, and now it’s been confirmed.
At risk of losing $30 million in guaranteed money if the Raiders suspended him with plenty of cause, with the possibility they would release him, Brown had to circle back and express remorse for his latest actions. The act was apparently bought hook, line and sinker, as if the Raiders really have a choice.
There are no denying Brown’s talent and production, which gives him leeway unique to people who are among the best at their job. So the Raiders were surely prepared to deal with a certain amount of issues and distractions, but it’s worth wondering where the breaking point might be. First, it was frost-bitten feet from a cryotherapy chamber, then it was Brown’s helmet ordeal and now it’s gone all the way to a profane (at least on his end) altercation with Mayock.
What kind of distraction Brown will offer next is anyone’s guess, and the regular season hasn’t even started for the Raiders. But he’ll be on the field for Monday night’s season opener, which is ultimately all that matters, and all is peaceful for now. Brown’s fantasy football owners can put him in their Week 1 lineup without trepidation now.