Steelers receiver Antonio Brown was inactive Sunday, but it had nothing to do with a knee injury. According to Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pro Bowler’s absence came in the wake of a heated dispute with a teammate that led to him missing practice last week.
Per the newspaper, Brown and a teammate got into it during Wednesday’s walk-through, and the receiver threw a football in anger at an unnamed player. Brown missed practice the rest of the week, which was his decision and not the team’s.
Brown attended the game, expecting to play, but left at halftime.
Brown played in Week 16 against the Saints despite missing a mandatory morning meeting the week of that game.
One player told the Post-Gazette the situation was “embarrassing” and “the worst I’ve seen” with the way it was handled.
Brown missed practice Wednesday with what the Steelers called a coach’s decision. The team added a knee injury when Brown didn’t practice Thursday, and coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Friday that the wideout was undergoing tests on his knee.
Brown made 104 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, but Steelers players voted JuJu Smith-Schuster team MVP last week.