FOXBORO – Antonio Brown will practice with the New England Patriots on Wednesday, but his future remains murky as the NFL meets on the same day to discuss how to handle his off-field conduct, according to multiple media reports.
Head coach Bill Belichick confirmed the former All-Pro wide receiver has been in Foxborough since Monday and is ready to take the practice field with Tom Brady and the rest of his new offensive teammates. Belichick wouldn’t say whether Brown is in the game plan or available to play Sunday. The Patriots are 17.5-point favorites at Miami.
USA Today reported league Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL are considering use of the commissioner’s exempt list for Brown while rape allegations against him are investigated. It is not known if Brown or his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will be in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting centered around the matter.
Questioned repeatedly about Brown, his role with the team and how he fits in general, Belichick would only say Wednesday “We’re focused on Miami,” and “We’re getting ready for Miami.”
Based on the NFL Player Personnel Policy Manual, the exempt list can be applied “in unusual circumstances” with Goodell the sole authority in such matters. Players assigned to the list — including Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens following the release of a dramatic video showing him punching his then-fiance and Adrian Peterson during his time with the Minnesota Vikings while being investigated for child abuse — are not eligible to participate in games or practices, but receive pay and benefits as scheduled. They can attend the team facility but only for individual workouts, medical treatment, meetings, and any other non-football activities with the team’s approval.
Belichick finally said the Patriots would operate “one day at a time” with Brown and see where they stand this weekend.
“I’m done with that,” Belichick said after another attempt at a Brown question. “Anything on Miami?”
The Dolphins have won five of the past six meetings against New England at Hard Rock Stadium but lost 59-10 at home to the Baltimore Ravens last week.