Pats’ Antonio Brown said to be eligible, but will he play?

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Antonio Brown is said to be eligible to play against Miami. Whether he actually does after just three practices with the Patriots is still not clear.

“We’re determining that,” coach Bill Belichick said Friday. “I’m not gonna hand out a copy of the game plan. We’ll do what we think is best for the team.”

The star wide receiver Brown was not placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, two people with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Friday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced.

Belichick, whose team faces the Dolphins on Sunday, would not confirm the move by the NFL before practice.

Brown has been accused of rape and sexual assault in a civil case in Florida and denies the allegations by his former trainer. He won’t go on the exempt list this week because no criminal charges have been filed and because the NFL hasn’t fully developed its investigation. Players on the list can’t play in games or practice with a team but are still paid. A player can be placed on the exempt list at any point.

Brown signed with New England after requesting and receiving his release from the Oakland Raiders.

Since the lawsuit became public, the ordinarily flamboyant Brown has kept the lowest of profiles.

He arrived in Massachusetts on Monday in search of a fresh start following a trail of follies with the Raiders that included a bizarre foot injury, a dispute with the NFL over his helmet, missed practices, multiple fines and a run-in with Oakland general manager Mike Mayock.

Now Brown is trying to acclimate himself to perhaps the most regimented environment in the NFL.

He’s been mostly insulated off the field by the team. The four-time All-Pro has yet to address reporters since joining New England. He has been seen only on the practice field . The stall to his locker has been closed whenever reporters had access to the room, suggesting he has left for the day. He has been trying to learn a new playbook and system and earn the trust of quarterback Tom Brady.


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