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The Real Reason Antonio Brown Ran Out of MetLife Stadium, Quit on Bucs

Ian Rapoport: “Here is my understanding of the Antonio Brown situation – Antonio Brown refused to get into the game despite the coaches asking him to, and then tossing him from the sideline and eventually releasing him. From Antonio Brown’s standpoint, I talked to people close to him, and what they say is he did not feel like he was healthy enough to play. There was an ankle injury he was battling, he did not practice Thursday or Friday. He was cleared to play in the game, was running routes, looking good, and looking healthy before the game, but in his mind, the reason he refused according to those close to Antonio Brown is because he wasn’t healthy." (Full Segment Above)

An interesting new layer was added to the Antonio Brown saga on Monday, as NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport detailed the bizarre incident at MetLife Stadium on Sunday from Brown’s perspective.

According to individuals in Brown’s camp that Rapoport reached out to, the superstar wide receiver refused Bucs head Bruce Arians orders to re-enter the game versus the Jets because he believed he wasn't healthy enough to play.

Brown had been battling a legitimate ankle injury all season, causing him to miss five games even before he was suspended another three for obtaining a fake COVID vaccine card.

Brown came back in Week 16 after a 10-week absence to torch the Carolina Panthers with 10 catches for 101 yards, but allegedly re-aggravated the injury during practice in the week leading up to the Jets game, and didn’t practice Thursday or Friday. He was listed as ‘questionable’ against New York.

Arians reportedly was going to use a ‘snap count’ for Brown and wide receiver teammate Mike Evans in Week 17, who were both coming back from injury, and likely not needed in full capacity vs. a lowly Jets team who was a 13-point underdog.

Brown had 3 catches for 26 yards on 5 targets before one of the weirdest incidents in league history then ensued, as Brown’s now-infamous MetLife exit without a shirt on may be the final time we ever see him in the league.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported after the game that Arians had said Brown refused to re-enter the game twice, but there was no exact reason given at the time on why Brown was so adamant about not going in.

Arians said he didn’t know Brown was injured and claims that Brown never mentioned his ankle during their sideline spat.

The stunt by Brown wasn't the biggest shock in the world considering his eccentric and often combative behavior, but it became even more puzzling when it was revealed that Brown was nearing $1 million in incentives if he had compiled just a few more yards and receptions, which obviously would have been easily attained if Brown had finished the game vs. New York, and then played in Week 18 versus the Panthers.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday afternoon that despite Arians saying after Tampa's thrilling comeback win that Brown was 'finished as a Buc', the Buccaneers did not officially release Brown on Monday like previously believed.

Brown immediately left MetLife Stadium and did not wait for the game to end, as social media then laughably yielded a video a ride-sharing driver took of Brown in his back seat, getting a ride to the airport.

Although a disgraceful way to end his stint with the Bucs, the 33-year-old did prove that he is still one of the league’s best wide receivers when healthy, as Brown led a star-studded Bucs receiving corps in targets in the eight regular-season games he played in during the 2020 season, and he averaging 77.9 yards per game in 2021, a 1324-yard full season pace.

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