Hard Knocks didn’t wait long to address Antonio Brown‘s feet Tuesday night. Three minutes into the second episode of the season, the Raiders receiver’s burned feet took center stage.
“Do you want to see it?” Brown asked the NFL Films crew. “Are you sure you want to see it?”
Brown showed the bottoms of his blistered and cracked feet, which PFT Live co-host Chris Simms first reported were injured in a cryotherapy chamber.
“My feet is pretty much getting circumcised, right? Right? For real,” Brown said to the NFL Films cameras after pulling off his socks. “It’s kind of like a pull back right now. I’m [expletive] circumcised on my feet. Hopefully my feet are born again, and I figure to run faster. Feel sorry for me later.”
A week after not addressing the reason for Brown’s injured feet, Hard Knocks was more forthcoming in the second episode. Brown explained he was on vacation in Paris and, while training, sought cold therapy to recover.
Hard Knocks, though, never said Brown was wearing improper footwear in the crytherapy chamber.
“I got out, and I felt my foot burning,” Brown told the NFL Films crew. “I was like, ‘Man, I feel a hot sensation.’ The next like 24 hours it swelled up. It got really big. I couldn’t really walk or put pressure. The doctor came over, drained a little out. Scalpel the next day. Freaking scissors the next day. Just kind of let it leak all out. As everything leaked all out, I was able to put a little pressure. Thankfully, my trainer was working me out in the midst of my freaking. . . I can’t be on my feet.
“Now, it’s just like new skin, I’m just trying to get my feet used to feeling that, but I feel like I’ve just got a . . . big whoopee cushion. You know?”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden speaking to the team’s head athletic trainer, Rod Martin, called Brown’s hobbled feet a “a serious burn.” Martin added “frostbite.”
Brown then is shown leaving training camp.
Sprinkled into the rest of the episode are the questions — and non-answers — about when Brown will return.
General Manager Mike Mayock, who played no role in the first episode, is shown in the production meeting with the team’s broadcasters answering a question about Brown.
“He’s going to be fine,” Mayock said. “I’m not going to get into all the medical, because we’re not supposed to this time of year. But at the end of the day, he’s like a thoroughbred and he’s going to be fine. I’m hoping he’ll be back next week full speed.”
Brown did indeed return Tuesday. It remains to be seen when he will practice again, though. Brown last practiced July 30.
Brent Musburger, the team’s play-by-play voice, asked Gruden in the production meeting how concerned the coach was about Brown’s absence.
“I’m concerned,” Gruden said. “We’re missing time here. I’ve always said, ‘Time spent; value received.’ You’ve got to spend time at this. So we’re concerned. We’re optimistic, but we’re concerned.”
Hard Knocks didn’t spend much time on Brown’s helmet issue, showing an NFL Network clip about Brown’s grievance against the NFL near the end of the episode but teased it for next week. Tuesday’s episode ended with Brown returning to camp.
To be continued, in other words.