There is no clear indication as to why Brown was absent from practice, and the absence doesn’t appear to be injury-related. It is very possible that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin simply excused Brown from the practice, but several Steelers sources told the Post-Gazette that they weren’t sure why Brown was not in attendance.
The six-time Pro Bowler was visibly upset on the field Sunday during the Steelers’ 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and left the locker room shortly after the conclusion of the game. He was held under 70 yards on 9 catches and did not find the end zone for a touchdown in the contest.
Perhaps Brown’s absence is related to a social media post he made on Twitter earlier yesterday when he responded to an ex-Steelers employee who said he would not be the same player if the Steelers quarterback wasn’t Ben Roethlisberger. The same former employee also suggested that it was Roethlisberger who helped Brown earn a four-year, $68 million contract extension with $19 million guaranteed that at the time made him the highest paid receiver in the NFL in February 2017.
Brown’s response was simply “trade me let’s find out.”
Trade me let’s find out https://t.co/4OeepI78zy
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) September 17, 2018
Roethlisberger, who appeared on his weekly radio show for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, said he believes Brown doesn’t want to be traded. That is likely the case with Brown, but Roethlisberger also understands his frustration:
“I think it was just frustration, he’s a competitor and he wants to be the best in the world, and he wants to make every play and catch every touchdown,” Roethlisberger said about Brown. “He’s getting frustrated, he took it out on some people, I give Randy [former Steelers employee] credit for not losing it on him.”
The Steelers are off on Tuesday, but will return to the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for their Monday night game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are off to a 2-0 start led by veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Photo: Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports