New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is in the middle of a sexual assault lawsuit and the NFL has started an investigation. However, it doesn't look like the league will make a decision on Brown anytime soon because he will still be eligible to play on Sunday when the Patriots play against the New York Jets.
"There is no update on the status of Patriots WR Antonio Brown, I’m told, which means he’s still eligible at this point to play on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network wrote on Twitter. "The league often likes to have the status of players clear on Wednesday before the biggest practice day."
Earlier this week, the league interviewed the accuser Britney Taylor. Once the interview was conducted, it was reported the NFL is "expected to keep the lines of communication open" just in case they need to interview Taylor again. The NFL's next step is to talk to Brown and get his side of the story. The NFL will interview Brown next, but no date has been set yet.
"The first step is significant since it will allow commissioner Roger Goodell the opportunity to place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list while the NFL investigates whether he violated the league's personal conduct policy," Kirstie Chaippelli of Sporting News wrote. But the recent probe of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott under similar circumstances is a reminder that things can get muddy and prolonged, which is probably why the Patriots reportedly asserted they would not have signed Brown had they been aware of the allegations."
The lawsuit states that Taylor was assaulted by Brown three times. Two of the incidents happened in 2017 and one incident happened last year. The issue with this is Taylor never filed a police report. And because there is no other evidence of assault, it won't be investigated from a criminal standpoint.
This is good news for the Patriots as they will have Brown for another week. Based on the way they have played the first two weeks of the season, they would be good without him, but Brown adds another dimension to the team's dangerous offense.
In Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, Brown recorded four receptions for 56 yards and one touchdown. The Pats ended up winning the game big 43-0. Brown agreed to sign right before the team's first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he was not eligible to play since he did not officially sign the contract until the Monday after the game was over.