NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown was taken off the non-football injury list and took part in a walkthrough Sunday morning.
Brown had been out with an apparent foot injury, although the Raiders never said officially what his injury was. Brown walked gingerly off the field Saturday, but looked much better a day later while running routes and catching passes before practice as a throng of fans cheered.
“He was out running around and doing some things,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “With Antonio Brown there’s no such thing as a walkthrough. He goes 100 mph all the time. I think he’s going to be back quickly. He looked good to me today.”
Even when he wasn’t practicing, Brown was the easiest player to spot.
Wherever he goes the colorful, flashy 31-year-old attracts a crowd. One minute he’s giving advice to one of the Raiders younger receivers. The next he’s standing against a rope separating autograph seekers, turning his back to film a selfie video while fans chanted his name.
All the while a crew from HBO’s “Hard Knocks” documented almost every step Brown took. And he relished every moment, wearing a black beanie, sunglasses and laughing as he walked toward the Raiders locker room following Sunday’s 2½-hour practice.
“He has a big personality,” said wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who signed with Oakland in the offseason. “I’m pretty quiet so I feel like we kind of fit together well. I’m trying to take as much stuff from his game. Hopefully I can start having success, a lot of success here, and it’ll open up more stuff for him and for the whole offense.”
Brown was an idle observer during the full team practice. Once the workout ended, Brown soaked up the attention again as fans held up black No. 84 jerseys and screamed out his name.
With his three sons in tow, Brown walked over to the crowd, held up a camera and began filming himself and the fans as cheers of “AB, AB, AB” broke out.
That flamboyant persona is only part of who Brown is, according to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
“Everyone watches him on Instagram and thinks he’s just loud and all of that,” Carr said. “Man, that guy just works his tail off. He’ll do anything you ask him to do. He’s a great friend. He’s always great with my kids. My kids have probably thrown him more balls than I have.”
Notes: The Raiders waived running back Chris Warren III. Warren was a training camp sensation in 2018 but spent the entire season on injured reserve. He was expected to make a push for playing time alongside Doug Martin and rookie Josh Jacobs. “We expect a certain level of professionalism with our players coming in fitness-wise,” Olson said of Warren. “He didn’t fit those expectations so we decided to make a change.” James Butler, who spent part of 2018 on Oakland’s practice squad, was signed. … Wide receiver J.J. Nelson made a pair of impressive catches, going up high to make a leaping grab on a pass from Nathan Peterman then later beating Keisean Nixon for a long touchdown pass from Carr.
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