Raiders’ Antonio Brown not at practice again with foot issue
NAPA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders hit the midway point of the Napa portion of training camp Sunday, and it was more of the same regarding former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Brown was not present during practice or the “family day” activities that followed while media was present. A source confirmed Brown had seen a specialist regarding his blistered feet, which were displayed briefly in a since-deleted Instagram post by the wide receiver during the week.
Reading between the lines, the condition is serious enough that Brown couldn’t take the field with his teammates for a non-padded practice. But it’s also believed the Raiders don’t consider it a longterm problem.
“I’m not going to get into it other than he’s being evaluated, and we hope to have him back soon,” coach Jon Gruden said. “For the time being, we’re going to continue to move on the best we can.”
Pressed specifics on Brown’s injury, Gruden said, “I don’t have any update. When I do, I’ll be sure to pass that on.”
The initial estimate when Brown opened camp on the nonfootball injury list was “probably a week,” according to a source.
Chances are Brown wasn’t going to have much of preseason role, healthy or not. Considering the time Brown has missed, being ready to face the Los Angeles Rams in joint practices Wednesday and Thursday would seem to be in jeopardy.
Other catching balls in a walkthrough setting a week ago and getting some work Tuesday against defensive backs — and looking very good — Brown has been a nonparticipant. That was in contrast to the offseason program and mandatory minicamp where Brown set a torrid pace and dared others to keep up with him.
The hope was Brown would bring that kind of life to training camp, and safety Lamarcus Joyner still expects that to happen soon. Joyner made the lone play against Brown during his cameo Tuesday with a pass breakup.
That day, Joyner described Brown’s presence in colorful terms.
“When you’re grilling (he’s) that extra fire in the barbecue pit — what you need to bring the juice to make it 400 degrees,” Joyner said. “When he’s out here, we’re on fire. We need him. He’s that extra gas that you need in that science experiment to get things boiling.”
As of now, the Raiders are still waiting for Brown to raise the temperature.