Buccaneers rebut Antonio Brown’s claims about injury cover-up: ‘He was cleared to play’

Antonio Brown was officially released from the Buccaneers on Thursday after his Week 17 mid-game meltdown.

After the Buccaneers game vs. the Jets in which Brown ran off the field, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters that Brown was cut from the team. However, the Buccaneers took until Thursday to officially release the wide receiver.

This week, Brown has taken to social media to share his side of the story, stating that his ankle injury he’s been dealing with for the majority of the season had not improved ahead of last Sunday’s game. The Buccaneers released a statement on Thursday after releasing Brown, stating that “he was cleared to play.” The team also said it tried to schedule an evaluation with an orthopedic specialist, but Brown has not “complied.” Here’s the full statement:

MORE: Antonio Brown claims he was “cut” by Bucs after refusing to play injured

Additionally, Arians spoke to the media on Thursday and said the team was not made aware of how severe Brown’s ankle injury was, as Brown’s been describing it.

“At no point in time during that game did [Brown] ever ask his trainer or doctor about his ankle. He never went through — that’s the normal protocol. You got through protocols during games. I was never notified of it,” Arians said.

MORE: Antonio Brown goes off on social media, takes aim at Bruce Arians, Tom Brady, Alex Guerrero

Arians then went on to explain what happened on the sidelines that day from his point of view, saying that Brown got upset at halftime about who was being targeted. He only had three receptions for 26 yards in the time he played.

In the third quarter, when the meltdown happened, Brown refused to go in the game, Arians said. That’s when Arians told him to get off the field because he was done.

MORE: Antonio Brown’s timeline of trouble

Brown released a statement through his lawyer on Wednesday which stated that Brown plans to get ankle surgery after the season. His future in the NFL is still uncertain. Here’s the full statement from Brown:

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