Pats' Brown expected to practice, status vs. Miami unclear
In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown watches from the sidelines during the second half of the team's NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Brown, who was released by the Raiders last week and is now with the New England Patriots, has been accused of rape by a former trainer. Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Kyle Hightower, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8:09AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:06PM EDT
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he expects Antonio Brown to practice with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions.
Belichick declined to answer additional questions about Brown, including his status for Sunday's game at Miami. He deferred to the Patriots' statement late Tuesday in which they said they were aware of the lawsuit and "take these allegations very seriously."
"Antonio and his representatives have made statements, so I'm not going to be expanding on any of those," Belichick said. "They are what they are. We've looked into the situation. We're taking it very seriously all the way through the organization. I'm sure there are questions, but I'm not going to enter into a discussion about that."
Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue. The NFL has declined comment but will be opening an investigation into the matter.
Belichick was asked specifically about the possibility of Brown being placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List by Roger Goodell. That special designation, which is used at the discretion of Goodell to allow the league to conduct investigations into possible violations of the league's personal conduct policy, would prevent Brown from practicing or attending games while on the list.
Brown would, however, be eligible to continue being paid on the one-year deal he signed Monday with the Patriots that could pay him $15 million this season.
"We're preparing for one day at a time," Belichick said.
Brown was originally traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland in the off-season. But a bizarre foot injury, fights with the NFL over his helmet, skipping practices, multiple fines, a run-in with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and his social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release him.
He agreed to a deal with the defending Super Bowl champions hours after the Raiders granted his request and let him go.