Antonio Brown runs pregame routes, denies he threatened to quit over helmet

Jason Owens

Antonio Brown’s Oakland Raiders debut will to have wait beyond Thursday’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

But for a guy with recently frostbitten feet, he looked pretty good running routes in pregame warmups.

Brown wore a black T-shirt and the bottom half of his silver-and-black uniform while running routes and catching balls at University of Phoenix Stadium.

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Everything’s fine, right?

The Raiders tweeted out video that concluded with Brown and quarterback Derek Carr chatting as they walked off the field as if to say, “Look, there’s nothing to worry about here.”

To cap things off, Brown was seen wearing his full uniform — helmet included — prior to the game.

Brown denies that he threatened to quit over helmet

After the game, Brown told reporters that he never threatened to quit football if he didn’t get his way with his helmet, contradicting a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he, in fact, did.

“I don’t know where they got that, who made that up, either,” Brown said, via the Los Vegas Journal-Review. “Why would I retire, man? I’ve got a beautiful career. I’m healthy. I love to play the game. I’m grateful to play the game.”

Brown also reportedly told the NFL in a grievance that he lost over the helmet that he would hold the league liable if he’s injured in a newer-model helmet.

Worth the hassle for Raiders?

Between the multiple lawsuits, frostbite and the helmet drama, Brown has already provided more spectacle than the Raiders bargained for when they traded for the mercurial wide receiver in the offseason.

But if he’s able to return to the field for Week 1 and produce at his regular All-Pro level without further interruption, the Raiders will gladly chalk up the preseason drama as the cost of doing business.

Head coach John Gruden said as much in his postgame news conference.

"Hell yeah, it was encouraging,” Gruden said of Brown returning to the team. “It was great to have him back. You know, it's been a strange, strange couple weeks, with frostbite and the helmet grievance.

“Can't say that that's common, at least in my history in this league. But we've weathered the storm."

Antonio Brown ran routes and wore his full uniform -- helmet included -- before Thursday's Raiders-Cardinals game. (Reuters)
Antonio Brown ran routes and wore his full uniform -- helmet included -- before Thursday's Raiders-Cardinals game. (Reuters)

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