Antonio Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape in a lawsuit filed by his former trainer on Tuesday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the NFL will not place Brown on the list since there is no criminal investigation into the sexual assault and rape allegations brought against the wide receiver in the lawsuit filed by his former, Britney Taylor, on Tuesday in Florida. The NFL has opened an investigation and will interview both Brown and Taylor.
Brown is eligible to play in New England's game against the Dolphins on Sunday. When asked by reporters on Friday if Brown will play in the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, "We'll do what's best for the team."
According to the lawsuit, Brown allegedly sexually assaulted and raped Taylor, a gymnast he met while attending Central Michigan and later hired as his trainer, in three separate incidents. The lawsuit said Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017, exposing himself and kissing her without consent in the first incident. Later that month, Brown "began masturbating near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back" and then bragged about the incident in profane emails attached to the lawsuit. Taylor then ended her working relationship with Brown following the alleged assaults only to relent several months later after he contacted her to apologize and assured her he would "cease any sexual advances."
Brown's attorney, Darren Heitner, released a statement saying Brown denies the allegations and asserts any sexual interaction with his former trainer was "entirely consensual." The Patriots also released a statement on Tuesday saying they were aware of the lawsuit filed earlier that day and they "take these allegations very seriously."
On Wednesday, Brown practiced with the Patriots amid the allegations, and coach Bill Belichick told reporters the team is managing the situation "one day at a time."
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that New England did not know Brown could be facing a lawsuit for sexual assault when they signed him last week.
New England signed Brown to a one-year deal worth $15 million on Sept. 7 after his release from the Raiders earlier that day. His departure in Oakland came after a series of incidents this summer. The four-time All-Pro asked for his release after the Raiders voided $29.125 million in contract guarantees due to conduct detrimental to the team.