NFL insider reported that Antonio Brown was thrown off the sideline by Bucs coaches because he refused to play injured

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  • Antonio Brown's time with the Buccaneers ended when he stormed off the field during a game.

  • NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Brown was thrown out after saying he was too injured to play.

  • Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said he hadn't been told that Brown believed he was too injured.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown shocked the NFL world on Sunday when he tore off his pads and walked off the field in the middle of a game against the New York Jets.

With the Buccaneers trailing in the second half, Brown stripped down to his pants, waved goodbye to the crowd, and walked off the field and into the locker room.

—Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 2, 2022

On Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Brown's outburst wasn't random. It was a response to a conflict with the Buccaneers coaching staff.

Rapoport said Brown, dealing with an ankle injury for weeks, told the Buccaneers that he was too injured to reenter the game. The Buccaneers called for him to head out onto the field anyway.

"The response from the offensive coaches and from Bruce Arians was, 'If you are not going to go into the game when we tell you to go into the game, then you cannot be here,'" Rapoport said. "At that point, they threw him off the sidelines and cut him from the team."

—Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2022

Rapoport added that the situation between Brown and the Buccaneers had been deteriorating for some time.

—Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2022

Rapoport's report brought up some questions for the Buccaneers coaching staff. Players who believe they are too injured to play have every right to let their coaches know and sit out.

But speaking with reporters on Monday after Rapoport's report, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shared his version of events.

When asked whether he could fire a player who wouldn't go into the game because he was injured, Arians said, "I don't know that he was."

When asked whether Brown had told him that he was injured, Arians offered a flat no.

"It's pretty obvious what happened," Arians said. "He left the field, and that was it."

"We had a conversation, and he left the field," he continued.

Arians said he didn't talk to Brown after he left the field and hadn't communicated with him or his team since the incident.

Arians refused on several occasions to discuss the details of the conversation he had with Brown before he departed from the sideline.

There's still a disparity between Rapoport's report and Arians' comments. If Brown raised the issue of an injury and was told he either had to play or go, that's different from Brown independently deciding to tear off his pads and head for the door.

Until either Arians or Brown opens up about the conversation they shared on the sideline before the incident, it may be tough to figure out what happened in the moments leading up to Brown's exit.

Read the original article on Insider