FOXBOROUGH, Ma. (CBS) – It’s looking more and more like Antonio Brown is going to be making his New England Patriots’ debut on Sunday in Week 2. According to NFL.com, all signs are pointing to Brown being on the field in Miami this weekend when the Patriots play the Dolphins. The Patriots have held two practices this week and Brown has been on the field for both sessions.
Barring an injury, there are only two things that could potentially keep Brown from playing. The first thing that could keep him off the field is a last-second decision by the NFL to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list.
The league is currently investigating the sexual assault lawsuit against, and for now, the Patriots receiver is allowed to practice and play in games while that investigation is going on. However, the league could eventually place Brown on the list, which would basically put him on paid leave and keep him from playing until the investigation is complete.
In the lawsuit, Brown is accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance, Britney Taylor, on three separate occasions between June 2017 and May 2018. Although Brown’s legal team has admitted that the two had a sexual relationship, his camp maintains that everything was consensual between Brown and Taylor.
According to NFL.com, there’s been no indication that the league is going to announce anything before Sunday, which would pave the way for Brown to be on the field. The other thing that could keep Brown from playing is if the Patriots don’t feel like he’s comfortable with the playbook just yet, but that scenario seems unlikely.
Even if Brown isn’t able to grasp the Patriots offense after just one week of practice, the team could simply give him a smaller set of plays to work with, which would ensure that he would see at least a few snaps against the Dolphins.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick had a chance to rule Brown out of Sunday’s game during an interview this week, but instead, he left the door open for the receiver to play.
“We’re taking it one day at a time, just like we always do,” Belichick said when asked on Wednesday if Brown would be playing in Miami.
If Brown does suit up in Week 2 as expected, it will end a long and windy road that has weaved from Pittsburgh through Oakland and eventually landing with New England