Antonio Brown misses Raiders practice; GM Mike Mayock shows frustration

Antonio Brown misses Raiders practice; GM Mike Mayock shows frustration

NAPA -- The Raiders have clearly reached a breaking point with Antonio Brown.

General manager Mike Mayock made that point clear during Sunday's final training-camp practice, which their superstar receiver did not attend over his longstanding helmet issue.

His quest to use a preferred Schutt Air Advantage helmet hit a snag on Saturday -- it failed an NFL test, per Pro Football Talk -- and he left camp in frustration.

The Raiders, and Mayock in particular, have been supportive of Brown's helmet preference. Going AWOL at this point, when he's healthy enough to practice fully for only the second time since dealing with frostbitten feet, is a point of contention for his employer.

"Antonio Brown is not here today, and here's the bottom line: he's upset about the helmet issue," Mayock said in a statement to reporters on hand Sunday in Napa. "We have supported that. We appreciate that. We have, at this point, exhausted all avenues of relief. From our perspective, it's time for him to be all-in or all-out.

"We're hoping he is back soon. We have 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going, and we hope AB is going to be a big part of it starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story. No questions."

Brown’s helmet saga has gone on for months, because the Schutt Air Advantage helmet he has used in some form or another since high school was no longer permitted for use in NFL games. Only helmets certified by an independent safety body (NOCSAE) are eligible for use, and helmets over 10 years old are not eligible for certification.

According to an epic Twitter thread by NFL Network’s Mike Silver, Brown has been so frustrated by an inability to use his preferred helmet, that he resorted to repainting a Schutt Air Advantage helmet brought in from outside the team when the Raiders wouldn’t give him one.

Brown filed a grievance with the NFL and NFLPA to wear his preferred helmet, and an independent arbitrator formally ruled against him on Aug. 12.

Drew Rosenhaus, Brown’s agent, said the following day that he believed a resolution was close thanks to a loophole in the certification rules. If Brown’s camp could find a Schutt Air Advantage helmet less than 10 years old, they could re-condition it and get it re-certified.

Brown’s camp crowd sourced the effort and acquired a few such models, though the NFL and NFLPA told Brown’s representation that a newer version would have to be submitted to an independent lab for testing. Per a source, the helmet failed the test.

Brown’s representatives were informed of the failed test on Saturday. After failing the test, the source said, the Schutt Air Advantage has now been placed on the list of helmets prohibited by the NFL.

Brown voiced his displeasure with that decision on social media, using language that will not be repeated here.

He left Raiders camp for a second time after receiving bad news about his helmet.

He came back Tuesday from his first absence, a 10-day stint in Florida, where Rosenhaus said he was gone only to receive treatment for frostbitten feet.

His private treatment ended before his Aug. 13 return to Napa, and Brown was healthy enough to run full speed in pre-game warm-ups before Thursday’s exhibition in Arizona and participate fully in Saturday’s walk-through practices.

He was supposed to practice fully on Sunday, for the first time since July 30, but left camp instead over this helmet news.

Brown’s decision to leave amplified the Raiders’ simmering frustration and prompted Mayock’s statement, which drew a line in the sand.

[RELATED: AB's agent responds to Mayock's statement]

The Raiders traded third- and fifth-round picks to Pittsburgh for Brown, and subsequently reworked his contract to pay out $50 million over three seasons, including $30 million guaranteed.

Brown spoke after Thursday’s preseason game and refuted a report that he would retire over this helmet issue.

“Why would I retire, man?” Brown said. “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 that before Saturday’s news that his preferred helmet was prohibited. He and Rosenhaus have stated that they are willing to work within the system to find a helmet suitable for Brown to wear and feel safe playing in.

Brown has to decide his next course of action, whether or not to return to a team that has grown frustrated with his decision to leave the team over this issue, when there are plenty of certified helmets to choose from.

Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice


Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice

ALAMEDA – The Raiders desperately need running back Josh Jacobs and right tackle Trent Brown available for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Both guys have spent the significant time playing through pain, and that could well happen again this week.

Jacobs has been dealing with a fractured shoulder since Week 7. Brown has missed one game but has played through ankle and knee injuries thus far this season. Now he has a pectoral ailment keeping him out of practice.

Brown is, however, has played through a ton and could well do so again.

“He’s had a number of different injuries throughout this season,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Nagging injuries more than anything else as you’ve seen. He’s missed practice but he has been ready to go on Sunday.”

Jacobs volunteered on social media that his shoulder is fractured, and him missing practice over limitations is a slight difference from previous weeks.

The Raiders try to manage his workload during the week to get him as ready as possible for game day.

“We would never put a player in harm, but we’ve managed him and he’s been honest with us in terms of the injury,” Olson said. “Our training staff has done a great job really throughout the week making sure he’s ready to go on Sundays.”

Right guard Gabe Jackson did not participate in Thursday’s sessions after being considered limited for a Wednesday walk-through conducted indoors. His participation level on Friday will give further indication of his readiness for Sunday.

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (pectoral)
LB Kyle Wilber (ankle)
RG Gabe Jackson (knee)

Limited practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

ALAMEDA – The Raiders stink. They’re a terrible team after blowout losses against the Jets and Chiefs despite being truly amazing just over a fortnight’s past, when they were coming off a three-game winning streak that made them NFL darlings and a resurgent playoff contender.

That’s the same team we’re talking about, One coming off dramatically different results that have a once confident fan base pulling its hair out heading into Sunday’s vital matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

A win against them at Oakland Coliseum and all is right in the world (again). Lose and it’s apocalypse now.

“I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this game. You rewind two weeks ago, we were the greatest story in the NFL and two weeks later we suck again, so I think we’ll be alright. (laughter) We are just going to keep grinding. We’re going to stick to what we do.”

Carr admits they’ll have to do better, especially on offense. The passing game is stuck in neutral, revving its engine without moving an inch.

That’s large part receiver issues – Jon Gruden says he’s shaking up that position group this week – and some lackluster quarterback play with two pick-sixes in the last two games. Can’t have that, plain and simple. The Raiders can’t afford the penalty issues plaguing them recently. They can’t afford the nine-quarter touchdown drought that stretched from the Bengals game through the Jets contest and deep into the Chiefs embarrassment. The Raiders beat the Bengals but have been outscored 74-21 in two losses since.

“We’ve had a rough two weeks,” Carr said. “I’ve had a rough two weeks. It’s time to get back on track, it’s time to get back in our stadium, it’s time to be efficient on offense, it’s time to win. I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team.”

The Raiders' offense must find a groove after hitting a rough patch, but let’s not forget this unit posted 24 or more points for six straight weeks. They can get going again by finding old magic. The key, Carr says, is staying on schedule and staying balanced. They have to start strong – they aren’t built to overcome large deficits – and avoid major mistakes.

[RELATED: Carr can't say enough about rookie Jacobs' toughness]

That’s how the Raiders did it before. That’s how they can do it again.

“Our execution has not been good enough at all,” Carr said. “Like executing the plays to every detail hasn’t been good enough at all. Turning the ball over myself. I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. Never been something I’ve wanted to do or been a part of my game and so it doesn’t matter how it happened or why it happened, it happened, and we have to eliminate the turnovers and that starts with me.”