EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – A day after former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown jogged off the field amid the Bucs 28-24 win over the New York Jets, resulting in his dismissal from the team, Bucs coach Bruce Arians said he has no regrets about bringing Brown into the organization.
“I have no regrets. I just hope for the best for him,” Arians said on Monday, acknowledging that it was difficult for him to see Brown break out on the sidelines in such a chaotic fashion. After teammates Mike Evans and OJ Howard tried to calm him down, Brown stripped off his shirt and pads, threw his gloves and undershirt in the stands, and ran through the end zone shirtless as the two teams were in the field.
A MetLife Stadium security guard told ESPN he thought it was a fan who jumped onto the pitch. The officer also told ESPN that once inside the tunnel, Brown asked state soldiers to go to the airport, but they were unable to accommodate his request. So he received another means of transport to the airport and did not return home with the team.
“It was very difficult. I wish him good luck. If he needs help, I hope he receives it. It is very difficult. Because I care about him,” Arians said.
Arians still doesn’t know why Brown, who has a history of violent outbursts, manic behavior and even admitted to mental health issues, left the field.
“I care about him very much. I hope he is doing well,” he said.
Arians said he did not speak to Brown after leaving the field – only before leaving it. He was unwilling to divulge the details of this interaction – only that the conversation had at no time involved Brown’s injured ankle.
An NFL Network report said Brown was upset because he didn’t think he could continue playing his ankle, that he injured himself in Week 6, causing him to miss five games, as well. than three more games due to his suspension imposed by the league to produce a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
“I don’t know he was [injured]”said the Arians.
Did he say he was hurt?
“No,” said the Arians.
“It’s pretty obvious what happened. He left the field and that’s it,” Arians said. “We had a conversation and he left the field.”
Brown was cleared to play last week and recorded a 10-catch-for-101-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers. But he also twisted his ankle again. Still, he was medically cleared to play against the Jets on Sunday.
Arians has indicated that he will never force a player to play due to injury and that if a player feels too injured to continue, that player should speak to the coaching staff, who will then alert them.
Arians said he had not spoken to Brown or his representatives since leaving.
When asked if Arians had any triggering moments that led to Brown’s explosion, Arians replied, “None at all.”