Three Theories Surrounding a Former New England Patriots Player Quitting Mid-Game
Antonio Brown quit during the Bucs/Jets game yesterday
In case you somehow missed it, which is unlikely considering everyone has been talking about it since the moment it happened, former New England Patriots (and now former Tampa Bay Buccaneers) receiver Antonio Brown seemingly quit the Bucs toward the end of the third quarter of yesterday afternoon's Bucs/New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium.
With only a few minutes left to go before the final quarter of the game, fans watched on as Brown took off his shoulder pads on the sideline, then proceeded to remove his undershirt and gloves, which he threw into the crowd, before jumping up and down on the field (during game play) and giving fans the "peace" sign before disappearing in the tunnel to the locker rooms.
With all of the commentary from fellow players, coaches, broadcasters, and fans all filling social media and sports reports across the board today, here are the three biggest theories that led to Brown stripping and leaving the game as it was actively being played.
Antonio Brown's attitude
This is the theory being thrown around by most fans. Throughout the last handful of years, Antonio Brown has exhibited a mixture of bizarre behavior. Most fans attribute it to narcissism and the result of fame going to a successful athlete's head, resulting in feeling untouchable. Brown (or AB, as he's also known), played only in one game for the Pats before being hit with multiple sexual assault allegations and released. He also was recently busted for using a fake vaccination card -- all situations where fans have chalked it up to "AB just being AB."
He wanted to play / He wanted to stay on the sidelines
Other than it being an "AB just being AB" situation, at first sight, one of the almost-immediate assumptions was that AB wanted in the game, but coaches wouldn't allow it and wanted to keep him on the sidelines, leading to the outburst. However, earlier this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that coaches wanted to put AB in the game, but he didn't feel like he was healthy enough to play, even though he had been cleared of an ankle injury by Bucs staff.
He's suffering from mental health battles or CTE (or both)
In the post-game press conference, Tom Brady commented on AB's antics during the game, seeming to reference they had a friendship and that Brown was going through some personal issues.
There's speculation that those issues and mental health battles can be traced back to a vicious hit that AB took back in 2016 while still a receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. During a 2016 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown was absolutely clobbered by the Bengals' Vontaze Burfict while attempting to receive a pass. Many trace a massive behavior change in AB to this very incident.
Regardless of what the issue was yesterday, or even if it's a combination of all three, here's hoping Antonio Brown, can get any assistance he's in need of.