Former New England Patriots star Rodney Harrison expressed his thoughts on the Antonio Brown saga during an appearance on NBC Sports on Tuesday.
Harrison said that he believes the former All-Pro wide receiver could be dealing with brain trauma from playing football. Harrison talked about the hit-to-the-head Brown received from former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict during the 2016 NFL playoffs and how it may have affected him.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown wipes his face as he leaves the field after throwing his equipment into the stands while his team is on offense during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)
“I think he’s suffering from CTE,” Harrison explained. “I think he’s definitely got some symptoms. He’s snappy, mood swings. I mean, you look at this hit from Vontaze Burfict. You look at this hit, and he was completely out. I played 15 years in the league. I was never completely out like that. He’s completely out. That is a concussion. That is something that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life.”
Harrison said that he knows many former NFL players who deal with CTE, and he thinks Brown’s antics might be a cry out for help.
“I would like for the league to come in and really help this guy because what they witnessed and what we witnessed on Sunday was mental illness. It was CTE. It was him making a bad decision. It was all those different things,” Harrison said. “When you’re suffering from CTE — and I got many, many friends that suffer from CTE. We all suffer from CTE. If you play football for an extended period of time, you got hit in the head, you suffer from CTE. That was clearly something that just made him snap, and I promise you at this point in time, he’s sitting at home, and he’s not happy. He’s not happy about walking off the field, quitting.”
A N.J. State Police trooper, background, watches as Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) throws his gloves into the stands while his team’s offense is on the field against the New York Jets during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)
During the Buccaneers’ game against the New York Jets, Brown took off his uniform and shoulder pads and threw his gloves and undershirt into the stands before running off the field and into the tunnel.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field while his team’s offense is on the field against the New York Jets during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Brown left the game and did not return. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)
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Brown says he was “cut first” before leaving the team. Brown also said he had an MRI on his ankle on Monday, and it showed he had “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful.”
After his latest controversy with another NFL team, it’s unlikely Brown signs with another team in the near future. Many in the media have speculated this may be the last time we see Brown on an NFL field. But the situation in Tampa seems far from over.