With big characters on the roster like head coach Jon Gruden, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and guard Richie Incognito, the Oakland Raiders are a lightning rod for media criticism making Antonio Brown a perfect fit for the Silver and Black.
After Brown’s drama that got him a trade to the Raiders, every single move he makes is put under a microscope. Brown is currently dealing with a foot injury that is keeping him out of practice. Though the injury is minor and has almost no chance of causing him to miss any regular-season time, it is being blown out of proportion.
Antonio Brown’s Foot Injury is a Non-Issue
Has Practiced Sparingly
Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list, surprising a lot of people since Brown has been on Instagram and social media posting workout videos almost non-stop. Since teams are not mandated to give injury reports at this point, it was really a mystery what the issue was.
Fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Brown was taken off the NFI list day two and participated with the team. Well, he only kind of participated. Brown only did some warm-ups and stretching before finishing off the day. He finally got a little bit of time in one-on-ones during the team’s first padded practice, providing some nice highlight-reel catches.
Guess this @AB84 guy is pretty good.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) July 30, 2019
Raider Nation finally learned what was bothering Brown after he posted pictures of his badly blistered feet on Instagram during the week. It’s not necessarily surprising, considering the “unique” types of workouts Brown is posting. It should also put fans minds at ease since blisters aren’t anything serious that will linger throughout the season.
Won’t Play in the Pre-Season Anyway
If there is a time for Brown to rest up it is now. An issue like this should be healed up within a few weeks. Technically, it would cost Brown some pre-season time. But head coach Jon Gruden said back in May that Brown wasn’t going to play in the pre-season anyway.
Some may argue that Brown is missing valuable time to get some chemistry going with his new teammates. However, Brown has been getting in time with his teammates off the record since he joined the team back in March. Quarterback Derek Carr has said that he and Brown are throwing together all the time. That’s all that really matters. As long as Carr and Brown are on the same page to start the season, sparks should fly in that offense.
Oakland would be smart to just bubble wrap until the regular season begins at this point.
Headlines are Blowing it Out of Proportion
Of course, this is the Oakland Raiders and Antonio Brown, so every little snippet of news is blown out of proportion. If people only read headlines, it would look like the sky is already falling in Oak Town. “Jon Gruden: ‘We’re all disappointed in Brown’” is a common refrain across the internet at the moment. At face value, it looks like Gruden is already getting tired of Brown’s antics. However, this doesn’t tell the entire story.
Gruden also says that Brown is disappointed and that the team wants “to get the party started.” Of course, Gruden wants to get his high-priced wideout on the field. It doesn’t take a ton of analytical skills to figure out that Gruden and company are disappointed at the situation, not at Brown himself.
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More overreactions came on Saturday when reports came out that Brown is scheduled to see a specialist for his foot. Again, this seems scary at first glance especially given the lack of official word on exactly what is ailing Brown at this point. However, given the fact that Brown has been on the field at least in a limited capacity, it is safe to assume that the foot issue stems from his blisters and nothing more.
The chances of any real structural damage that would put his season in jeopardy are next to none at this point. Raider Nation just needs to be patient and embrace the criticism until the regular season starts.