The Oakland Raiders and Antonio Brown saga continued on Friday, although the most recent report appeared to be a good one as Brown seems to be making progress with his foot issues.
Brown has been away from the team for a few days to see foot specialists to help him take care of what has now been revealed as frostbite. He is reportedly making progress though and is expected to return to the team and practice field in the near future.
The feet issue is not the only thing hampering Brown right now though as Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that he has filed a grievance against the NFL to be able to wear his preferred helmet this season:
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has filed a grievance against the NFL to be allowed to wear the helmet he prefers, not one of the helmets that league rules mandate, league sources told ESPN on Friday.
Brown is expected to have a hearing as early as next week, and an arbitrator will decide whether or not he gets to wear the helmet he wants.
According to Schefter, NFL rules require players to wear helmets certified by NOCSAE — the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment. However, the helmet that Brown is comfortable in and has worn throughout his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers — believed to be the Schutt Air Advantage helmet — is no longer certified by NOCSAE.
NOCSAE’s rule has been that no helmets older than 10 years can be worn, but Brown is hoping that they will make an exception so he can continue to wear the cap he has worn his entire nine-year NFL career.
Schefter added that part of the reason that Brown has been away from camp is due to the helmet issue in addition to his feet, and the Raiders are continuing to support him:
Other league sources, however, have wondered how much his absence stems from the helmet issue, which has been an ongoing battle since the start of training camp.
The NFL and NFLPA want players to wear helmets designed in the most effective manner to safeguard against potential head injuries.
The Raiders are “aware and supportive of Antonio Brown, but [have] no further comment.”
Hopefully, both issues can get figured out soon and Brown can return to the field so he can continue to develop chemistry with his new teammates ahead of the season opener.