Mon Sep 16 6:31pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
Players: Antonio Brown
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Jomal Wiltz (33) attempts to defend, during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) and defensive end Deatrich Wise, celebrate during the end of the second half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 43-0. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) smiles on the sidelines, during the second half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown's availability is again in limbo this week with the NFL preparing to meet with the former trainer that has filed a civil lawsuit accusing the star receiver of rape and sexual assault.
On Monday, the NFL declined to comment on the allegations against Brown or when it would speak with his accuser. But the league told the Patriots last week that it was opening an investigation into the matter.
Brown has denied the allegations made in the lawsuit. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue.
Sports Illustrated also published a story Monday afternoon in which a second woman, an unnamed artist, alleged that Brown exposed himself to her while she was working on a mural for him at his Pittsburgh home in 2017.
In a statement issued Monday via Twitter , Heitner said Brown also denies the allegation made in the SI story.
''Antonio Brown has reviewed the sexual misconduct allegations made by an unnamed artist included in a recently published Sports Illustrated article and denies that he ever engaged in such activities,'' the statement said. ''There will be no further comment at this time.''
Brown has not spoken publicly since the lawsuit was filed and he did not address reporters leading up to the game against the Dolphins. He also was not made available following the Miami game and was not present in the locker room during a player availability on Monday.
The Patriots resume practice Wednesday.
Asked during his Monday morning conference call if he expected to hear anything from the NFL about Brown's availability this week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, ''I don't really know anything about that.''
''I'll just answer any questions about the game, and I'm not getting into anything else outside of that right now,'' Belichick said.
In the lawsuit filed by Brown's former trainer Britney Taylor last week in Florida , she alleges Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions. According to the lawsuit, Taylor says she was sexually assaulted by Brown on separate training trips to Pittsburgh and Florida that same month in 2017. It also alleges he forcibly raped her in 2018. The suit includes what it says are text messages from Brown bragging about the second assault.
The AP does not usually name the alleged victims of sex assaults, but Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.
Though the allegations made by Taylor against Brown made him subject to discipline under the NFL's personal conduct policy, he played and scored a touchdown on Sunday during the Patriots' 43-0 win at Miami. Two sources told The Associated Press that Brown was not placed on the commissioner's exempt list last week and was eligible to play because no criminal charges had been filed against him and because the NFL hadn't fully developed its investigation.
Players on the exempt 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. The one-year deal Brown signed earlier this month with the Patriots could be worth as much as $15 million.
The 31-year-old Brown was released by Oakland on Sept. 7 after clashing with the team throughout training camp. He agreed to a contract with New England that same day.
New England Patriots S Jordan Richards was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Washington Redskins S Deshazor Everett (ankle), LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring), OG Wes Martin (chest), S Montae Nicholson (ankle), CB Josh Norman (thigh, hand), Adrian Peterson (ankle) and RB Chris Thompson (toe) did not practice Tuesday, Oct. 22. WR Steven Sims Jr. (toe) and TE Vernon Davis (concussion) were limited. LB Ryan Kerrigan (elbow) and QB Case Keenum (shoulder, foot) participated fully in practice. OT Donald Penn (non-injury) was not given a practice designation after being limited one day earlier.
Free-agent DL Sylvester Williams (Saints) was signed to an undisclosed contract by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22. DE Everson Griffen (quad), DT Linval Joseph (knee), DE Hercules Mata'afa (neck), CB Xavier Rhodes (hip), TE Kyle Rudolph (thumb), OT Riley Reiff (ankle), LB Eric Kendricks (hip), LB Ben Gedeon (concussion), OG Josh Kline (foot) and DT Shamar Stephen (knee) each participated in full.
Updating a previous report, free-agent DB Justin Bethel (Ravens) signed an undisclosed contract with the New England Patriots shortly after meeting with the team on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent TE Jerell Adams (Texans) was signed to the practice squad of the Houston Texans on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New Orleans Saints RB Zach Zenner was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent DB Justin Bethel (Ravens) visited with the New England Patriots on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Detroit Lions S Quandre Diggs was traded along with a 2021 seventh-round draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent RB Alfred Morris (Cowboys) signed an undisclosed contract with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on his injured knee Tuesday, Oct. 22, and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Patricia.
Fantasy Spin: Initial reports had Johnson missing "some time," but an IR designation would pretty much knock him out for the rest of the season. Sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson should handle the majority of snaps in his absence and should be added in all leagues, while J.D. McKissic figures to take the bulk of the work in the passing game. It's also entirely possible the Lions bring back C.J. Anderson to assume at least part of the early-down workload after cutting him earlier in the season.
Arizona Cardinals LB Ramik Wilson was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Deone Bucannon (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans TE Logan Paulsen was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The San Francisco 49ers expect wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) to return in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Samuel missed Week 7 but appears ready to practice and play against a tough Panthers pass defense this Sunday. Despite showing exciting flashes this season, the rookie is averaging just 4.4 targets and 33.6 yards per game. His fantasy value will be further impaired with the acquisition of veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders. With the Niners leaning heavily on their running game and tight end George Kittle dominating target share, Samuel is gradually fading from redraft relevance. Hell be a desperation WR5 if he suits on in Week 8.
Minnesota Vikings CB Marcus Sherels was released on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) told reporters he expects to play in Week 8 versus the Denver Broncos. Hooker has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn meniscus.
The San Francisco 49ers traded for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Reported by ESPNs Adam Schefter, the Niners will ship 2020 third and fourth round picks to Denver for Sanders and a 2020 fifth rounder. The 10-year pro should instantly upgrade a Niners receiving corps that have been anonymous outside of stud tight end George Kittle. However, Sanders should be downgraded fantasy-wise as he enters a run-heavy offense while competing for looks against Kittle, a versatile backfield and an amalgam of wideouts. Hell be a risky WR3 in Week 8 against a tough Carolina Panthers pass defense. Other losers in the deal are receivers Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel (groin) and Marquise Goodwin who all continue to slide outside of fantasy relevance.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will make his Patriots debut in Week 8 against a Browns Defense that is allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to receivers. Sanu was acquired via trade from the Falcons and immediately brings size and physicality to a banged up wide receiving group in New England. Sanu caught 66 passes last season for 838 yards and four touchdowns but has been held to only 313 yards with one touchdown this season. Sanu is an excellent addition as a player that can bring the kind of size in the red zone that the Patriots have been lacking due to a banged up Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski's retirement in the preseason. Sanu should be thrown right into the mix against a Browns defense that has allowed 10-plus fantasy points to eight different receivers this season. He may lack the amount of targets, however, to garner anything higher than a WR4 play in Week 8.