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The Weirdest And Least Professional Moment In The History Of The NFL?

Antonio Brown is a fine football player and an elite wide receiver.

However, his career has been blighted by more than a few issues, and last night’s one was certainly the strangest in an already chequered time in the NFL.

Brown, 33, apparently quit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the middle of a drive in the third quarter of a game they were losing to the New York Jets. Stripping out of his jersey and pads before running off the field, waving to the fans as he left.

Tom Brady led the Bucs downfield on the final possession of the game to score the go-ahead touchdown to ensure that Tampa Bay came back to win the game, but the result will be forgotten compared to the craziness that occurred just before it.

No Longer A Buc

On screen, as the Buccaneers were driving in the third quarter, Antonio Brown was captured on TV removing his pads and jersey, despite fellow receivers such as Mike Evans, pleading with him not to do so.

After successfully removing the pads and jersey, Brown then jogged around the pitch, through the end zone making a peace sign with his hands to fans in the stadium.

Brown then was reported to have left the stadium under a police escort to head to the airport where he was making his own travel plans separate to his team.

It was clear from the pictures that something had clearly riled the fiery wide receiver, although after the game in his post-match interview, tight end Rob Gronkowski claimed that he had no knowledge of what had happened.

Similarly, at the end of his game in his press conference, head coach Bruce Arians would not elaborate any further than stating, when asked what had happened with Brown.

“He is no longer a Buc, alright? That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

Ankle Injury

Fox Sports NFL reporter Jen Hale later reported that Brown’s actions were instigated by the fact that he felt his ankle, which had kept him out of practise earlier in the week, was not 100% up to playing in the game.

The Bucs medical team felt that Brown was good to go and it seems head coach Bruce Arians asked Brown to go into the game in the third quarter, which Brown refused.

After Brown refused to re-enter the game, the Bucs coaching staff reportedly told Brown if he was not going to go into the game, then he could not be with the team.

This was the catalyst that led to Brown eventually stripping off and leaving the game.

Prior to him leaving the game, Brown had caught three catches for 26 yards and in his two years at the Bucs, he caught 1,002 yards of passes and eight touchdowns.

Concern

After the game, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was more compassionate in his appraisal of Brown stating that people should “do what they can to help in the way he really needs it.”

That said, it is a slap in the face for a team that took on Brown in 2020 when he faced a civil lawsuit for sexual assault and also through a three-game suspension for forging a Covid-19 vaccine card.

The NFL is generally forgiving of its best talent. However, turning your back on your team mates is perhaps one that no team will overlook.

Whether Antonio Brown returns for another team in future remains unknown, but after blotting his copybook yet again last night, that does seem to be unlikely at the moment.

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