Report: Antonio Brown Will Be Eligible Sunday vs. Miami
Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will be eligible to play for New England this Sunday against Miami, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Brown, who signed with the Patriots late last week, was named in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday that accused Brown of committing sexual assault and rape against one of his former physical trainers.
The NFL has begun an independent investigation into the claims brought up by the lawsuit. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could have placed Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list — which would have allowed him to be paid but not play — but according to Schefter, did not, because there is no formal criminal investigation into Brown at this time.
That could change in the future. Allegheny County district attorney Stephen Zappala said on Wednesday that he will look into the allegations, specifically one act that was alleged to have taken place at Brown’s home north of Pittsburgh.
“When something’s filed, and alleges a crime was committed, we take a look at it,” Zappala said to KDKA.
The NFL and/or the Patriots could have also preemptively suspended Brown, citing the league’s personal conduct policy and a morality clause in his contract with the Patriots.
Brown has denied the allegations. He has practiced with the Patriots this week. New England head coach Bill Belichick was noncommittal when asked on Tuesday if Brown will play this week. The Patriots will play the Dolphins in Miami at 1 p.m. on Sunday.