Jon Gruden wants you to believe that the Antonio Brown situation isn’t a big deal.
Whether to believe him is up to you, however.
For those unaware, Brown still is away from the Oakland Raiders as he deals with frostbite on his feet, an injury he reportedly suffered after failing to wear socks in a cryotherapy chamber. Furthermore, the star receiver has threatened to quit football if the NFL doesn’t allow him to wear his old helmet.
(You can click here for a must-read thread about Brown’s helmet saga.)
If true, this is some objectively detestable behavior from a preposterously rich athlete who cried his way out of Pittsburgh during the offseason. Furthermore, this whole drama must infuriate the Raiders, who traded draft picks for the 31-year-old and gave him a huge pay raise.
Alas, Gruden insists the team has Brown’s back.
“I support this guy. I think that’s what needs to be said,” the Raiders head coach said after his team’s 14-3 preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. “I don’t know what anybody’s writing or what anybody thinks, but this foot injury wasn’t his fault. This was a total accident. It really wasn’t his fault, and it’s a serious injury. I know that some people are (joking about) it, but it’s really not a laughing matter.
“The guy is hurt, he didn’t do anything wrong, and the helmet thing is a personal matter to him.”
Added Gruden: “He has a strong feeling about what he’s worn on his head, and we’re supporting him. We understand the league’s position as well, so we’re in a tough spot, and we hope Antonio is here soon because he’s exciting to be around. I’m excited. I’ve got some plays for him. I hope we can start calling them.”
Again, believe Gruden at your own risk — we’re talking to you, fantasy owners.
Honestly, we just hope the next episode of “Hard Knocks” offers more insight into this mess.