GLENDALE, Ariz. – Antonio Brown is returning to Raiders practice, and he’s going to soon. The superstar receiver is expected to enter the mix before training camp breaks Monday, head coach Jon Gruden said, after running well and without discomfort in pregame warmups before Thursday’s 33-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Brown looked good, running routes and changing directions at what seemed to be full speed. He caught a few passes from quarterback Derek Carr, leaving the Raiders encouraged that their best player is back after suffering frostbite on his feet.
“Hell yeah, it was encouraging,” Gruden said. “It was great to have him back. You know, it has been a strange couple of weeks with frostbite and his helmet grievance. I can’t say that it’s common, at least in my history in this league. He has weathered the storm, and it’s great to see him out there with his teammates.
“He appears to be in great spirits and appears like he’s ready to get going. That’s Antonio Brown. We’re excited about him. I’m excited about him and could care less what anyone else says, honestly.”
Brown wouldn’t set a return date, but him coming back this weekend seems the most likely course.
Brown has missed 12 of 13 training camp practices, but Carr said the pair picked up right where they left off.
“He’s such a good player, and we’ve spent so much time together that I knew when he came back, it’d be like he never left,” Carr said. “That’s our brother, and we’re just happy that he’s here so we can put our arms around him and move forward.”
Brown felt good after two sessions with Carr and his fellow receivers, and he’s checking all appropriate boxes for a complete return to action. He spent roughly 10 days away from training camp rehabbing frostbitten feet with a specialist in Florida. He returned Tuesday, at the end of that treatment, and came to the Cardinals game despite there being zero chance of him playing. He got good work in before the game, and he seems ready to go.
“My feet are healing in the right direction,” Brown said. “I’m just happy to be around my teammates, to get to work and be with the guys.”