FOXBORO — As Bill Belichick told reporters on Wednesday morning, Antonio Brown was in fact at Patriots practice for the first time since signing as a free agent earlier this week.
With his receiver gloves attached to his face mask, and wearing No. 1 on his jersey, Brown donned full pads as did the rest of the team. His Patriots debut on the practice field came one day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and rape.
Antonio Brown here at Patriots practice wearing No. 1. pic.twitter.com/gFBIIwbjGG— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 11, 2019
👀 All eyes on Antonio Brown out on the practice field pic.twitter.com/nbKy5uNM3u— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) September 11, 2019
According to NFL rules, receivers must wear numbers between 10-19 or 80-89 in games. Brown wore 84 for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. That number has been worn in practice and preseason by Patriots tight end Ben Watson, who is serving a PED suspension for the first four regular-season games.
In his first warmup period overseen by a new strength and conditioning staff, Brown did his own thing.
Seeing players handle their warmup and stretching responsibilities differently from player to player — some jog while others walk, some linger on certain movements longer than others — is nothing out of the ordinary, necessarily. But Brown adhered to another routine, static stretching on the sideline while teammates stretched and walked out to midfield. He also performed a lower-body warmup that had him on the sideline on all-fours while his teammates performed a side-shuffle movement, bouncing from the sideline to midfield and back.
Brown didn’t interact much if at all with teammates while media members were present for the stretching period. He took his spot near other receivers but kept to himself. It’s important to note, reporters only had access to the brief warmup/stretching period before the availability period ended.
Brown, who officially signed a one-year contract with New England on Monday after the Raiders released him Saturday, has denied his ex-trainer's allegations and reportedly plans to countersue her.
A federal judge in Florida was assigned to Brown's case Wednesday, and his accuser, Britney Taylor, reportedly is expected to meet with the NFL next week. It's unclear if and when Brown would face discipline from the NFL, but until then, it's apparently business as usual in New England ahead of Sunday's game against the Dolphins in Miami.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.