Antonio Brown Returns To Raiders Camp In Napa, Gives Updates On Feet And Helmet Issues
MJ Acosta – NFL Network

The big story surrounding the Oakland Raiders during training camp this year has been the absence of star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason.

Brown has been away from the team for all but around two days of camp due to a couple of issues. One of them has to do with frostbite in his feet that he suffered in a cryotherapy machine, and then other had to do with him not being allowed to wear his helmet of choice due to it no longer being approved by the league.

The seven-time Pro Bowler filed a grievance against the NFL to be able to use his helmet, but an arbitrator ruled against him, so he is being forced to use a new one.

Brown return to Raiders camp in Napa for the first time on Tuesday, and was able to address what he has been up to for the last week or so. As far as the helmet problem, he said that they are still working with the league to find a solution, but is optimistic that will get taken care of, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

When Brown first filed the grievance, there were some rumors about him potentially retiring if it was not ruled in his favor. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was also present at camp on Tuesday, and said that the main reason he was away from his team was because of his feet, and he was never planning to retire:

It was recently reported that Brown can still wear his same style of helmet as long as he finds one that was made within the last 10 years. It appears that is true, and could be a solution to this issue:

It appears all along that the frostbite in his feet was more of a concern than the helmet as that is an actual injury that was keeping him from playing. Rosenhaus wouldn’t give much of an update on how the injury happened considering there could be a lawsuit in the near future, but he did say that Brown is close to being back to returning to the field:

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden echoed those thoughts and confirmed that the expectation is still that Brown will be ready for Week 1 against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 9.

With all of this uncertainty regarding Brown, it felt as if the sky was falling for the Raiders for a few days there, but it is good to see Brown back with his teammates and putting these issues behind him so he can focus on the season.

If he can continue to produce at the All-Pro level that he has for a better part of the last decade, then the Raiders could make some noise in the AFC West this season.