“Antonio Brown Did Not Believe He Was Healthy”

January 3rd, 2022

Here comes the very predictable twist to the Antonio Brown saga.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport claims Brown was fired on the sidelines for refusing to play when he thought he was hurt.

“Antonio Brown did not believe he was healthy,” Rapoport explained this morning, noting Brown did not practice Thursday or Friday because of his healing ankle.

Rapoport’s video is below. He explains the Bucs told Brown to play and believed he was healthy; Brown refused and told staff he would not play because he did not feel he was healthy. Bucco Bruce Arians and coaches responded and said play when we tell you or leave.

“At that point they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team,” Rapoport said. “… They essentially told him that on the sideline.”

What makes this more interesting is that on Friday, Bucs assistant coach Harold Goodwin, while filling in for Bucco Bruce Arians when he was out with COVID, told media that Brown “might have tweaked” his ankle. So that’s why, per Goodwin, Brown was missing practice time.

Joe accepts, just like Joe did yesterday, this is one of those situations where the whole truth will never be known. What is known is that Brown went topless during third-quarter action, and then ran off the field after stopping to engage fans and make a spectacle of himself in the end zone.


56 Responses to ““Antonio Brown Did Not Believe He Was Healthy””

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    If this is true, this doesn’t paint Arians in the best light

  2. Weebs10 Says:

    His ankle looked fine doing jumping jacks in the end zone.

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He faked the injury. Did that ankle look injured as he left the game? Nope.

    He’s claiming this so that he can get more money, but the video shows otherwise.

  4. DB Says:

    … that is what the training staff is for, to evaluate potential injuries. If Brown was concerned about this ankle injury then there is still a protocol to follow, and he didn’t follow it. Blame still falls on AB.

  5. Weebs10 Says:

    Ankle was healthy enough for jumping jacks and a toddler melt down.

  6. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Stop making excuses for this Ahole’s inexcusable actions. And….just read up on his history. Arians should’ve kept his word and cut this Ahole a month ago.

  7. Fun Guy Says:

    I think it reflects great on Arians. AB was obviously full of crap, his ankle clearly wasn’t an issue with his jumping jack routine or jogging off the field.

  8. Eric Says:

    jogging off the field is far different than playing wide receiver in the NFL. I’m old school so I say he should have sucked it up and played, but nowadays this kind of thing could backfire on Arians. Be interested in what players association does.

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    He ran pretty fast through the end zone with no shirt.

    No sympathy for AB. He had his chances.

  10. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I don’t know his mental state, but there is a long list of things reported that suggest it is not well. It is a minor infraction if he was not feeling healthy and didn’t make that known before the actives list came out. But it is separate altogether to make the scene he did to distract from his team’s work, to disgrace his franchise, and embarass himself and the NFL on TV. Coupled with his COVID vax card issue and past bad deeds (tossing furniture and glass, etc, plus the other things alleged but not proven), they needed to nix him. Even if someone is one to give him a pass for off-the-field staff, he proved to longer be an asset for his team on the field which counts most. It’s a shame. They really needed him for the playoffs. Some of his behavior (saying he is ill without apparent etiology) picking nervously and repeatedly at his hair/face while in a presser, and his seemingly manic behavior in removing his uniform and addresing the crowd, looks like something is terribly wrong. Hope he gets some help and doesn’t hurt anyone.

  11. geno711 Says:

    What a difference between Evans and Brown.
    Glad we have Evans — a real leader.

  12. D-Rome Says:

    I don’t know what the truth is but if I was a player I’d be highly upset if I felt I had a physical injury and the coaching staff insisted I still play. This after going through surgery, walking around in a boot, and going through all the physical therapy.

    I’m not saying the Bucs did this but I’d be surprised if they did.

  13. ClodHopper Says:

    Joe is right. We wont ever know the truth. That’s a perfect recipe for everyone thinking they know the truth. haha

  14. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Joe, if he “tweaked his ankle” on Friday, and thought he was injured, why did he play? I cannot believe ANYONE is eating this BS. LOOK AT THIS AHOLE’S HISTORY !!!!

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Bonzai. What we all saw on TV didn’t look like a player with a hurt ankle. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard the last of the Antonio Brown saga yet.

  16. BFFL Says:

    Everyone is injured this time of year

  17. Stone crab sam Says:

    Back in the day, action spoke louder than words.
    These days it almost seems the other way around.
    Time will tell.

  18. jugheadfla Says:

    Rapoport literally making up crap to stir the pot. There has been no one that has come out saying that AB thought his ankle was hurt other than Rapoport, pure BS. If you re-watch the game yesterday you can see numerous times where AB didn’t want to come out of the game, but they pulled him off anyway. I think that was the issue.

  19. Eric Says:

    im not inclined to believe AB, just sayin players routinely take themselves out of games when injured. Evans has done it and no tougher dude around.

    hope this doesnt blossom into a huge distraction. perhaps too late to wish that.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    I have been a big AB supporter throughout his stay in Tampa. For the most part he behaved and was very productive on the field when healthy. But I always had a feeling this type of meltdown was a possible outcome.

    Oh well. At least he helped us win a SB last season.

  21. Bold DG Says:

    If AB takes the argument that he was hurt and couldn’t play then he won’t be able to argue later that BA/Bucs were being punitive by not allowing him to earn his performance bonuses. If money is what he wants then he would have been better off claiming he was healthy and wanted to play and they kept him from playing. His financial goose has been cooked.

  22. SaintsFan59 Says:

    What a team of buffoons. Poor losers….

  23. Snookman Says:

    Not a big deal, all of this. I actually 100% completely support the franchise with this whole Antonio Brown situation. Tampa Bay Buccaneers knew what they were getting before they signed him. They knew he was an unbelievable receiver that has good chemistry with Tom Brady but they also knew he was a head case. We got what we needed from him he delivered an effort in the Super Bowl. This is no different than the Keyshawn Johnson meltdown a Terrell Owens meltdown for Chad Johnson meltdown. I really truly believe his team is smarter than in the past and will understand what it is. This isn’t a locker room dividing issue. If it was they would not have come back the way they did. The franchise was smart in signing Breshad Perriman. If Brady comes back next season hopefully we can find another free agents dead receiver

  24. SOEbuc Says:

    “At that point they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team,” Rapoport said. “… They essentially told him that on the sideline.”

    Because that’s how unprofessional this Bucs franchise has been.

  25. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Hey SaintsFan59….do you even realize how ridiculous that sounds? Guess not.

  26. Steven007 Says:

    Probably a grain of truth to all of it as in most things. But if AB wanted to sell it he should have walked off the field with a slight limp. Obviously he doesn’t have the mental connections to think ahead like that. Not making light of his situation, the man obviously has bigger problems than playing football.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bonzai- Agreed.

    SOE- If you did something similar at your workplace, you can expect the same thing. YOU ARE FIRED!

    I’m trying to wrap my head around why AB is the “victim” in so many people’s minds.

  28. Duane Says:

    This team played with house money last year and retired Brees in New Orleans, and made Aaron Rodgers quit in his own house on their way to a championship. The window was always tight, and yet we have a second shot at winning. With a 44 year old qb, the wheels were always going to fall off when the ride was done. This journey is not done. Still have not played a complete game. We got the Goat, and this defense can catch fire at the right time. Gotta ride this one out. Never underestimate the heart of a champion.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    AB is a problem child and he quit on the team .

  30. Bobby M. Says:

    Brown pulled the same antics in Oakland with his foot when he got frost bite….also had a similar melt down with team officials. For whatever reason, he seems to like to control when he will be available or not via “injuries” with is foot. When you go back in his history, the dude has always been unstable. He is a product of organizations/teams coddling a player with exceptional talent. I really feel like in his mind, teams should make tremendous exceptions for him, sweep his dirt under the rug, etc….as a sign of loyalty to the talent that he his. The NFL has had enough, but he doesn’t seem to pick up on that. No matter where he goes, he’s going to eventually revert back to his old ways.

  31. Roy T. Buford Says:

    The sad thing is I’d expect AB will lawyer up, sue the Bucs for trying to force him to play when he said he was injured, sue the Bucs for undue mental suffering by firing him on the sideline without using the NFLPA to mediate, and sue the NFL for lack of enough safety measures in place to protect employees from a very violent game. Not saying any of this is legit, and I’m not saying Brown had crafted this out on his own, but I do think in the aftermath it will probably create enough commotion to have the Bucs just pay him for full season and be done with it.

  32. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Saints fan, are you talking about the reigning Super Bowl and NFC South champion buffoons?

  33. STL-BucsFan Says:

    @ Saintsfan59 you know they won the game right? you beat us twice this year and congrats on those. but correct me if im wrong, we have 2 superbowl (1 being last year) and you have one (2010) not to mention Bounty Gate and the slew of playoff losses. bounce TROLL

  34. Listnfrmafar Says:

    My question is WHY would a player forfeit $1MM if he was healthy. This story is a premadona player facing off with a over the hill old man coach both with NO filter. BA told him he was done and AB said FU and stormed off in AB fashion. If AB threw him off the team should he just sit there and take it knowing he was done anyway?

  35. Couch Fan Says:

    1 thing Ive learned the last couple seasons is that you can’t trust the NFL to tell you the truth, and you cant trust Arians to tell you the truth. Now I wont condone what AB did, it was childish. But I expect there is some truth to this and theres no way im trusting 1 side of the story especially when the cowardly coach didnt want to talk about it to the press but then had no problem putting HIS side of the story out there to Jay Glazer.

  36. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    Let’s presume what he says is true:

    1. On the 20 yard completion, he absolutely twisted the CB in knots. Ankle looked fine there

    2. If he was indeed hurt, you take a seat on the bench. You don’t throw a tantrum.

    3. He is clearly mentally ill

    This reminds me, unfortunately, of the repeat criminal offenders I deal with. You look at their rap sheet and there are multiple offenses … all for a reason other than being a criminal (drugs, mental health…ANYTHING but acceptance of responsibility). The the judge… having had enough sentences him to 30 years and the criminal says “But NOW I have a valid reason. Why won’t anyone believe me?”

    Football is the least of this guy’s problems now.

  37. Roy T. Buford Says:

    AB may truly have thought he was injured. Manic Depressives often have discomfort (like a sore ankle) but their minds can magnify the perception of the pain during their manic episodes. But even then, a rationale person would have had the trainers look at him. Did that happen? Did he ask? He may have been showing other aggressive behavior (that we have seen/heard of) and finally (again?) crossed what was already overly high bar of BS for the coaches to tolerate. His behavior on exit was not normal in any way, so I’d bet whatever happened before that was the same.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Even if all that is true, the manner in which he conducted himself made him look like an ass in need of serious help and not someone any team would trust. Many people have lost a job or been denied a position. Those who left with class land on their feet and find employment elsewhere. Those who strip their clothes off and act a fool to show up their boss and current employer get labeled a cancer that no one wants in their company

  39. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We got one SB out of him it’s time to close as classily as Tom Brady.

    Like Joe I used to hate Brady as a Pat. Too much winning, too much clean living, too much success, model wife, his own burgeoning business empire.

    But after watching him for a couple of years I realize it was all just envy! I wish I had as much class as Tom Brady has in his litte finger. After letting this guy live in his home, vouching for him to get his job, betrayed on the field like this and what does Brady say… paraphrasing…it was unfortunate…we all hope AB gets the help he needs from the right people…we still LOVE AB…unfortunately he’s no longer a Buc.

    We should not take anything for granted and become jaded. We are in a very SPECIAL time in the sports world. A man who has demonstrated amazing skills at an incredible age for his sport AND a man who is such a class act.

    When I was a very little kid I heard tales of Jack Armstrong All American Boy.
    He was the hero on a radio serial of the 30’s and 40’s. He was perfect in every way and when my parents regaled me with stories of Jack Armstrong I was like yeah yeah…like that could ever REALLY happen.

    And now…Tom Brady…a real life..Jack Armstrong All American Boy.

  40. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    All I know is the look in Brady’s eyes during his press conference was a look of worry I’ve never seen in him. Was it worry about the sanity of AB, or worry about the Bucs SB chances now that AB was cut.

  41. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    And honestly, AB is nuts, but BA basically lit the fuse. Could have handled that differently and the walk off strip would have never happened and the team would still have an incredible (if mental) WR for the playoffs. Maybe BA wanted to cut him after the fake v card and this was his passive aggressive retribution. Either way it’s not as clean as the general narrative that AB went nuts and BA is blameless.

  42. Coburn Says:

    How does that fit with Evans interaction? Evans was trying to stop him until he said I’m off the team and then he stopped trying to settle him down? Dunno if I buy it.. it’s possible.

  43. William Walls Says:

    I’m not going to read all the foregoing comments to see if this has been said already or not, but if AB wasn’t healthy enough to play, then he shouldn’t have been dressed out and sitting on the team bench. He should’ve been designated as out with an injury and supporting his teammates from the sidelines in street clothes.

    If you’re wearing the uniform and sitting with the team, then expect to play when your number is called. You can’t wear the uniform and refuse to play.

  44. HC Grover Says:

    Staff should have let him sit on the bench and dealt with this matter after the game in private.

  45. orlbucfan Says:

    SaintsFan59 Says:
    January 3rd, 2022 at 9:22 am
    What a team of buffoons. Poor losers….
    Hey Aintsfan aka troll: Bucs have 2 SB wins including one in their own home stadium. They are also division champs. Who are you anyway?

  46. WillieG Says:

    Years ago, while working for a private ambulance company as a dispatcher/supervisor, I fired a paramedic for refusing to take a nonemergency call. She called my boss and told him she didn’t accept the call because she wanted to have an on the job injury looked at by an ER doctor and she was in the ER since she just dropped off a patient. She was immediately unfired. I was pissed because this chick was an absolute idiot and a terrible employee but you cannot fire an injured employee. It’s illegal as hell.

    Apparently, AB is also an idiot and a terrible employee. BA fired him when he was (allegedly) injured. I wonder if BA will have to unfire him, since it’s absolutely illegal to fire an injured employee?

  47. allpet Says:

    Is AB the one and only injured WR who has ever been told to enter a game not feeling healthy?

    What about: “We’re getting or a$$e$ kicked by the Jets we need you!” NFL players are getting payed a lot of money partly to play while injured. If AB doesn’t want the money he can leave. Which he did.

  48. mark2001 Says:

    Holy schmidt…it is the NFL…. He has missed half the games this year and after weeks of rest and instructed rehab, and clearance from the team Docs, he can’t play when we desperately need someone to step up? Ask Evans what it means to play with an injury…ask Godwin. And if the guy will only pick and choose when he wants to play, what makes any of you guys think he would be available for the playoff games and tough it out?

  49. mark2001 Says:

    Willie… BS…it is the NFL. Of course, he could suspend him for the rest of the year for his behavior, if you prefer. But the result is the same. He quit on us. The team. The doctors cleared him….no breaks…no tears…He trotted off the field and gave a victory sign. I can’t believe the excuses you guys make. He should never get another chance.

  50. Pewter Power Says:

    What’s the old cliché, no one is healthy at this point in the season. I’m sure that excuse was an insult to mike evans and others playing banged up. Probably should have exited the field with a limp if he was gonna use the injured excuse

  51. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “I wonder if BA will have to unfire him, since it’s absolutely illegal to fire an injured employee?”

    It’s on the training staff and team Doc. If they told BA he was cleared to play it’s on them. If they told him he shouldn’t play it’s on BA. Simple as that.

    I suspect that poor female employee actually DID go to the ER…I’m not saying she needed to but if she did and she was treated that is why they UNFIRED her.

  52. A. Brown is a criminal Says:

    How someone will believe Antonio Brown on anything he says, if he has some charges for abuse of women and other bad stuff

  53. unbelievable Says:


    That’s exactly what I saw too. There were multiple times where he was on the field and then like threw his hands up when he was being told to come out because they were using a different formation or whatever. Definitely look like someone who wanted to play.

    Which makes the whole thing that much more bizarre. I can only guess there’s been other stuff going on behind the scenes for BA to throw him off the team that quickly over whatever happened yesterday.

  54. PassingThru Says:


    My guess is that you were trying to fire a union employee. While the NFL players are unionized, their union is weaker than a kitten. Many states have “employment at will” written into the labor laws, which means an employer can fire you whenever they feel like it, as long as it isn’t discriminatory.

    I supposed Antonio Brown could sue the Bucs once they waive him, providing that he goes unclaimed. He’d have to prove he was waived with an injury, and demand an injury settlement for any amount remaining on his contract. That’s what NFL players sometimes do when they’re released while injured.

  55. T REX Says:

    RIP AB

  56. BucsCoolade Says:

    kinda explains it and Arians said he didn’t know AB was hurt.. fraud ditz.. get your info atraight..

    hope the league sees this as clearly Arians botch .. and Browns over the top drama diva response to it.

    Then AB can sign with a team like Miami and continue his great career with a coach who can handle him.