After a short holdout over a recent helmet dispute, Antonio Brown has returned to the Oakland Raiders training camp. For the entirety of his career, Brown wore a Schutt Air Advantage, a model that was recently discontinued by the manufacturer. The helmet was recently prohibited for safety reasons, which led Brown to threaten his retirement if he was unable to wear that model of helmet. With his appeal being rejected, Brown showed his bluff, and returned to Raiders training camp.
The timing of the helmet dispute was anything but convenient, as Brown is also healing from an unordinary case of frostbite on his feet. The mixture of both events perfectly sums up the headache that Brown can cause an organization. Although the frostbite is a beyond rare event, it’s something that would only happen to Brown. The frostbite was caused by improper footwear in a cryotherapy chamber.
The retirement threat is on-brand for Brown. Brown’s diva attitude has been widely documented within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Even with the retirement threat being a bluff, Brown returned to the practice field…15 minutes before practice ended. If you’re going to return to practice, be a team leader and arrive on-time.
Even with Brown arriving late to camp, Brown voiced his excitement in returning to the football field and his overall commitment to the Raiders organization. The Raiders have held 12 practices this summer, with Brown only participating in just one pre-practice walk-through on July 28. Since leaving on July 30, Brown has not been with the team a single day.
When asked about the timetable for Brown to fully return to the practice field, Brown said to “stay tuned”. Quarterback Derek Carr and head coach Jon Gruden both expressed their excitement with Brown’s return to the field. Obviously Carr has played with pro-bowl caliber receivers before, but none with the talent that Brown possesses. The two need to build a chemistry if the Raiders offense wishes for any hope of success.