Antonio Brown’s time as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has officially come to an end. In the immediate aftermath of Brown’s decision to remove his pads and leave the Bucs mid-game during Tampa Bay’s win over the New York Jets, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians announced that he was no longer a member of the team.
That didn’t exactly happen, as the Buccaneers did not immediately release Brown. The wide receiver was on the roster for a few days following the incident, but on Thursday, the team announced that they had finally done it, with a statement that rebukes some of Brown’s claims about being forced to play through an injury.
Brown, through his attorney, released a statement on Wednesday in which he claimed that he was dealing with an ankle injury that will now require surgery. He also claimed that the injury — which, per a report, was confirmed to have been serious via an MRI Brown’s since received — required a painkiller. On Thursday, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians responded to this, saying that Brown never said anything about his ankle bothering him and that his gripes were with the amount of targets he received during the game.
#Bucs coach Bruce Arians’ opening statement today on WR Antonio Brown, who alleged last night he was cut because he refused to play hurt and said he will undergo ankle surgery: pic.twitter.com/dfgFLd5x38
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 6, 2022
Following his leaving the game, Brown caught a ride to New York City while the Bucs continued to play.