Antonio Brown is reportedly likely to play Sunday in his first game with the New England Patriots despite a civil lawsuit that was filed against him accusing him of sexually assaulting and raping his former trainer.
The only way Brown might not play against the Miami Dolphins is if the team feels like he hasn’t learned the playbook yet or if the NFL decides to take action at the last minute, according to NFL Network.
The NFL could place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would keep him off the field with pay.
Brown is accused of raping and sexually assaulting Britney Taylor, his former personal trainer, on three separate occasions between 2017 and 2018. Taylor is set to meet with the NFL next week about the lawsuit and the allegations, which were filed in federal court in Florida earlier this week.
Brown’s representatives has denied the allegations and said the suit is tantamount to a “money grab.”
Brown, who was signed by the Patriots last weekend after a short tumultuous tenure with the Oakland Raiders, practiced Wednesday and Thursday.
The Patriots released a statement saying that the team is aware of the allegations and will monitor the league's investigation.
“We take these allegations very seriously,” the statement said. “Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about whether the team was planning on playing Brown against the Dolphins on Sunday. He said the team was taking it one day at a time.