The New England Patriots were already getting Antonio Brown ready to play in Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins despite questions about his potential availability. But now, it's looking likely that he will suit up.
According to Dan Patrick, Brown will not be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.
Dan reports that Antonio Brown will NOT be on the Commissioner's Exempt list — Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) September 13, 2019
Schefter added that the NFL has opened its investigation, "which will include interviews with Brown and his accuser."
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At a press conference, head coach Bill Belichick did not rule out the possibility of Brown playing Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
"We'll do what we think is best for the team," Belichick told reporters when asked if he was planning to play Brown.
Belichick added Brown has "worked hard" but still has "a long way to go" to get familiarized with the Patriots' offense.
Brown is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed against him on Tuesday accusing him of rape and sexual assault. There was some buzz about the potential of Brown being placed on that exempt list, but as of Thursday, the NFL hadn't indicated that they were going to discipline Brown. And now, it looks like they're choosing not to.
That means that the only thing holding back Brown from playing on Sunday will be his knowledge of the Patriots offense. He may not play a full complement of snaps, but the Patriots appear ready to get him on the field.
Of course, Brown isn't out of the woods yet. The NFL's investigation of this matter is ongoing, and his accuser will meet with the NFL next week. It seems likely that until the investigation reaches a conclusion, Brown's week-to-week availability will be in question.
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