PITTSBURGH — Steelers broad receiver Antonio Brown “went off” on a teammate and skipped a number of conferences and practices before and after the season finale in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals, a staff supply confirmed to ESPN on Monday.
The Pittsburgh Publish-Gazette first reported Brown elected to sit out practices after the heated dispute, and the Steelers’ determination not to play him in opposition to the Bengals had nothing to do with a knee damage. The report mentioned Brown grew to become “disgusted” and threw a soccer in anger at one among his teammates throughout a walk-through, citing a number of sources.
A supply advised ESPN that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was concerned within the incident with Brown, however this wasn’t a head-to-head conflict, and extra of Brown flaming up like he has previously. The supply added that it did not seem Brown threw a soccer instantly on the quarterback.
Brown acquired upset that Roethlisberger needed to run a sizzling learn over once more throughout a walk-through, so coaches despatched one other participant to run the play, a supply shut to the state of affairs advised ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Brown acquired upset, left follow and talked with Roethlisberger afterward, telling the quarterback that he felt underappreciated and had points with individuals within the group, the supply advised Schefter.
Brown left and would not reply to the Steelers, together with staff president Artwork Rooney II, the supply mentioned.
Brown was seen speaking with teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey on Thursday within the locker room however wasn’t current the remainder of the week or throughout Monday’s exit conferences.
The Steelers didn’t have official touch upon the matter, however coach Mike Tomlin — who mentioned Brown missed late-week practices with a knee damage — is anticipated to tackle the media Wednesday for his beforehand scheduled end-of-season information convention.
Some Steelers gamers thought it was odd that Brown confirmed up and walked onto the sphere pregame in a big, multicolored coat as an alternative of Steelers gear.
“It is a tough state of affairs,” one participant mentioned. “It is laborious to know what to assume. That is the stuff that is laborious to deal with.”
One thing was up in the course of the week, as a number of gamers and coaches had been blunt when requested about Brown.
“I am not going to reply any questions on Antonio. Subsequent,” offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner mentioned.
Tomlin advised reporters Friday that Brown was experiencing knee discomfort popping out of the Week 16 game in opposition to the New Orleans Saints and would bear assessments.
Brown completed the season with 104 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has an NFL-record six consecutive 100-catch seasons.
Brown and staff MVP JuJu Smith-Schuster grew to become the primary duo within the fashionable NFL period to document matching 100-catch, 1,200-yard seasons.
However Brown’s Week 17 absence punctuates a weird 12 months for the All-Professional. Brown has threatened a reporter over a narrative he did not like, grew to become incensed on the sidelines throughout a Week 2 loss, responded on social media to a critique from a former Steelers worker with the road “Commerce me let’s discover out” and confronted lawsuits over allegations he threw furnishings over the 14th-floor balcony of a South Florida residence balcony.