- The Washington Times - Monday, August 12, 2019

One of the strangest sports stories of the year took its latest turn Monday, and one of the NFL’s marquee athletes is closer to playing again, rather than retiring.

An arbitrator denied Antonio Brown’s appeal in a grievance against the NFL’s mandate that he give up his no-longer-approved helmet for a safer model, reports said. Brown soon posted on Instagram that he planned to rejoin his Oakland Raiders teammates.

His announcement comes in stark contrast to reports over the weekend that Brown threatened to retire if he could not continue wearing his older helmet.

“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field,” the star receiver wrote. “I’m excited about this season (and) appreciate all the concerns about my feet!”

The last part of his statement was a reference to the other odd reason Brown has not practiced with the Raiders lately. His feet are frostbitten and blistering from going into a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear.

So the Raiders, who traded a third- and a fifth-round pick to the Steelers to acquire Brown, are not entirely out of the woods yet, as it’s uncertain how close he is to full health.

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