Mystery solved? Chris Simms thinks so.
According to USA Today, the “Pro Football Talk Live” co-host is reporting that the source of Antonio Brown’s blistered feet is the result of improper use of a cryotherapy machine.
Apparently Brown, the dazzling wide receiver in his first training camp with the Raiders, entered the machine without proper footwear. The revolting photos of his feet? That’s frostbite, said Simms, who “got word from someone with knowledge of the situation.”
Per USA Today: “Full-body cryotherapy is a popular recovery method used by athletes like LeBron James. Basically you stand in a cryotherapy chamber for roughly three minutes as temperatures drop as low as minus-11.”
Proper footwear is a must. Or should be.
Brown wouldn’t be the first athlete to have a mishap with cryotherapy. Last year two Missouri State University basketball players developed foot blisters after a cryotherapy session.
Brown’s absence from the practice field has been one of the biggest plot lines at Raiders’ training camp, and his tender tootsies have been a source of frustration for head coach Jon Gruden, who is counting on the erstwhile Pittsburgh Steeler to jump-start the team’s offense.
The seven-time Pro Bowler averaged 1,245 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches during his nine years with the Steelers.
On Tuesday’s first installment of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” which is featuring the Raiders as they go through training camp, a narrator intoned dramatically, “Their game-breaker is breaking down.”
Brown and an assistant coach are filmed headed for the practice field to do individual training.
“How the feet feel?” the coach asks. “You all right? You’ve got to tell me if it hurts, all right? So we’re going to utilize skips because your feet seem to be all right with that, moving laterally without tearing those feet up.”
Narrator: “Everyone’s dying to see the former Steeler in action.”
Brown makes his way to a team practice which where his 4-year-old son joins him.
“Why you not running today?,” the boy asks.
“Daddy’s feet are still sore,” Brown responds.
Later in the day, in a staff meeting, Gruden asks trainer Rod Martin: “What is Antonio Brown going to do today?”
“He’s not ready to cut hard,” Martin says. “He can’t handle the sharp cuts. Put him in and he doesn’t know how throttle back.”
Narrator: “The coaches are in a tough spot. The good news is Antonio Brown i s able to practice. The bad news, he’s not fully healed but he won’t slow down.”
Sure enough, Brown is caught on video sprinting all by his lonesome. “A.B.,” he tells the camera, “is for afterburners.”