Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger denied reports that he was involved in a dispute with teammate Antonio Brown and called the attention on the receiver’s behavior “baffling” based on his version of the story.
“If there was a blowout, I certainly didn’t see it,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday on a radio appearance with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.
According to both NFL Network and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown skipped practices, a walkthrough and a team meeting Saturday night and eventually left Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at halftime due to frustrations over a disagreement with Roethlisberger.
The Post-Gazette reported that Brown threw a football in the direction of Roethlisberger and was not injured despite the team listing him on the injury report with a knee issue and making him inactive for the season finale.
Roethlisberger said “everything was great” when he talked to Brown on Thursday but said the receiver has not returned his calls or texts since. While the quarterback acknowledged the situation was frustrating for teammates, he said he was not bothered by the situation and believed it had been blown out of proportion.
“I know guys are frustrated, some of the guys I talked to, that they tried to reach out to him and didn’t hear back,” he said. “I’m blessed to play with him. I consider him one of my closer friends. … Each guy has to answer that question (about welcoming him back to the locker room).”
Brown, 30, finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and a league-best 15 touchdown catches.