On New Year’s Eve the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette released a bombshell report that revealed that Antonio Brown had gone AWOL from the team and skipped several practices after a heated confrontation with QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Several sources said the Steelers’ decision to not play Brown against the Bengals had nothing to do with any type of knee injury.
The disagreement occurred Wednesday morning during a routine walk-through practice that precedes their regular afternoon practice on the South Side. Brown became disgusted and threw a football in anger at one of his teammates, several sources said.
After that, Brown did not practice the rest of the week. According to a source, it was Brown’s decision not to practice with his teammates.
According to several sources, Brown showed up at Heinz Field expecting to play against the Bengals. That surprised several players, including one who called the situation “embarrassing” and “the worst I’ve seen.” That player said the entire situation and the way it was handled affected his desire to play in the game.
It would later be reported that Brown had requested to be traded by the team.
Today, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin spoke with the media about Brown’s absence and did confirm that the Steelers wide receiver went AWOL on Friday afternoon.
During Tomlin’s press conference Brown tweeted out a quote about being able to utilize his “free will”.
Steelers fans weren’t pleased with Brown’s tweet.