GLENDALE, Ariz. – Antonio Brown still is working through his helmet issue, trying to find the proper fit that is certified and legal in the NFL’s eyes. He wore a helmet Thursday during pre-game warmups, but he hasn’t completed his quest to find the Schutt Air Advantage made within the last 10 years and get it reconditioned and re-certified.
He’s working on it and has made progress after losing a grievance Monday to wear an older helmet he has donned since high school.
This helmet issue is important to him, but Brown made it clear after Thursday’s 33-26 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals that he was never, ever going to retire over it. Brown refuted last week’s ESPN report that he told the Raiders he would hang ‘em up over this helmet issue.
“I don’t know where they got that from, or who made that up, either,” Brown said. “Why would I retire, man? I have a beautiful career. I’m healthy. I love to play the game. Obviously, I inspire people with the way I play the game. I’m grateful to play the game. I’m excited to put it all on display, not only for my family but for these guys and our shared goals and everybody in the community who believes in me.”
Brown said he missed the team while he was away during a roughly 10-day stretch that saw him head to Florida to rehab frostbitten feet. He’s back now and on the verge of practicing with the team full-time after missing 12 of 13 camp practices thus far.
“You don’t take the game for granted,” Brown said. “Anytime you have a bunch of guys together who are committed to a great cause, that’s something unique. To be a part of that is a special feeling.”
Brown is committed to the team and to trying to turn this Raiders franchise around. He was impressed by the offensive showing against the Cardinals, where the top group flashed dynamic ability in their only series.
“I’m excited to see my teammates excel,” Brown said. “I’m glad that I could be here to support them. I can’t wait to put my best foot forward, be with the guys, put my hand in the pile and work hard with them.”
Brown hopes to be doing so soon with certified headgear. He crowdsourced his search for a Schutt Air Advantage, and he has been getting options for possible use despite the model being discontinued.
“I’m still trying helmets right now,” Brown said. “As long as the league certifies them, those are the ones I’m trying out. I’m trying out every one I have. There have been a lot of great fans sending helmets. I’m just following protocol, man. I’m just excited to be back. You’ll be seeing a lot of me here shortly. I’m just excited to be around my teammates in the building and reached the shared goals we’re here to achieve.”