The New England Patriots are heading to Miami to play the Dolphins on Sunday.
Whether Antonio Brown will suit up is up in the air as he faces a lawsuit from his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who claimed he raped and sexually assaulted her. Taylor filed the lawsuit one day after Brown signed with the Patriots following his release from the Oakland Raiders. Brown played for the Pittsburgh Steelers before that. Brown's lawyer denied the allegations and plans to fight them in court.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said little about the matter at a news conference on Wednesday, other than the organization is taking the allegations seriously.
“When we know more we’ll say more," Belichick said.
When asked whether Brown will play on Sunday, Belichick said the team is taking it one day at a time.
When asked if the matter is a distraction, Belichick said, "We're going to practice on Miami."
The Patriots released this statement on the matter:
We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.
CBS Sports is citing a report in the Washington Post that the NFL may place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list. If that happens Brown would become ineligible to play on Sunday. Brown signed a one year deal with the Patriots, worth up to $15 million. Brown would still get paid but not be able to play for the time he's on the list, CBS Sports reported.
Brown, 31, is in his 10th NFL season after being a sixth-round draft pick out of Central Michigan in 2010. He spent nine seasons with the Steelers before his trade to Oakland in March.
He is a four time All-Pro and has been named to the Pro Bowl seven times. He leads the NFL in receptions and receiving yards over the last nine seasons. He led the NFL in receiving in 2014 and 2017, according to the NFL.
(Warning-lawsuit contains graphic content which may not be suitable for some readers-viewer discretion advised)