Antonio Brown is officially a New England Patriots player, but we still don't know for sure if he will play Sunday when the defending Super Bowl champions take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday in a conference call with Miami reporters if Brown will suit up Sunday, and he was non-committal.
"You know, I don't know," Belichick said. "We just acquired him yesterday. We haven't practiced so I can't answer that question now. We'll take it day-by-day and see how it goes."
The Patriots offense is a complex one, and even though Brown is a very talented and intelligent wide receiver, it would be unreasonable to expect him to master the playbook before Sunday's 1 p.m. ET kickoff.
"We'll just take it day-by-day," Belichick said Tuesday in a separate conference call with Boston reporters. "We haven't practiced yet, so we're going through information with him like we would any new player, like we did with offensive linemen last week and just take it day-by-day and see how it goes. Get out on the practice field and after Wednesday talk about Thursday and just go through the week and see how it goes."
The Patriots do have recent experience integrating a top-tier wide receiver into their offense in-season. They acquired Josh Gordon in a trade with the Cleveland Browns in September of last year, and it didn't take the veteran wideout long to make a strong impact.
"Again, each situation is different. Each player is different," Belichick said. "The game that he's coming in for, obviously, has a different game plan, so we'll just have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Every year we've had players come on to the team that weren't with the team at the start of the season in various points in the year in all three phases of the game. It's basically the same process. What the role is and how fast the process goes and all of that just depends on each individual situation so we'll see."
The Patriots can afford to give Brown extra time to learn the offense and not throw him into the fire Sunday in Miami. The Dolphins lost 59-10 at home to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, and the Patriots are 18.5-point favoriters entering Week 2. The Patriots don't need Brown to dominate the Dolphins, but it wouldn't be surprising if he does play a few snaps.
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Bill Belichick non-committal on Patriots WR Antonio Brown's status vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston