MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Wide receiver Antonio Brown traveled with the New England Patriots for the team’s game against the Miami Dolphins, according to a source, putting him in position to make his Patriots debut Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Head coach Bill Belichick ultimately will make the final call on whether Brown plays, with momentum building in that direction. Brown took part in three practices during the week, impressing teammates with his approach.
“I think he is doing well. The dude is an absolute stud,” fellow receiver Julian Edelman said on Friday. “I think he raises the level for everyone out there because of how good of a player he is and how hard he works.”
Belichick also noted Brown’s work in getting acclimated to what the Patriots do, but he said Friday that he has “a long way to go.”
“Obviously, he’s not familiar with our offense. The systems that he’s been in have been quite different,” Belichick said. “Jon [Gruden] does the West Coast offense, and there’s very little carryover from their system [in Oakland] to our system. … Similar thing in Pittsburgh. He’s working hard to pick it up, and we’re working hard to get it to him.”
Brown wore jersey No. 17 in practices Thursday and Friday, as the No. 84 he donned with the Steelers and Raiders is worn by veteran tight end Benjamin Watson in New England. Brown’s father, Eddie, wore 17 in the Arena Football League and had his jersey retired.
Fellow receiver Josh Gordon is among those who have been impressed with Brown.
“I think it’s well known, he’s a dedicated player, one of the hardest- working players in the league. He’s come in here every day and done the same thing. I mean, he’s lived up to the great Antonio Brown name — he’s one of the best in the league,” Gordon said. “I think we expect that from him to continue, and I think he expects it of himself. It’s a great addition. We’re glad to have him.”