It seems the New England Patriots are planning as if Antonio Brown will be available Sunday when they travel down to Miami to play the Dolphins.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports no definitive decision has been made about Brown’s playing status as of Thursday. Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit Tuesday. Brown denied the allegations.
“There’s been no decision from the league about Antonio Brown’s playing status, and if you look at — as (Mike) Giardi mentioned — what the Patriots have done, he was on the practice field getting ready on Wednesday as if he was playing,” Rapoport said Thursday. “He was on the practice field today Thursday getting ready as if he is playing. If there is nothing from the league — and I have received no indication right now that there definitely will be — then it would make sense that he would go out there and play unless there is something football-wise that would keep him off the field.
“Maybe the Patriots don’t feel he’s ready to pick up the gameplan or cannot contribute. Either way, no one has ruled it out yet, but barring something unforeseen, it’s moving in the direction of Antonio Brown being on the field Sunday amid everything that we’ve been talking about earlier and over the past couple days.”
It’s highly unlikely the NFL would suspend Brown before Sunday. Roger Goodell could place the receiver on the commissioner’s exempt list, though even that is unlikely since Brown’s accuser, Britney Taylor, reportedly won’t be talking to the NFL until next week.