ALAMEDA, Calif. — Oakland Raiders receiver Antonio Brown lost his grievance with the NFL on Monday over his use of an old helmet that is no longer certified as safe to use for practice or play.
The arbitrator issued the ruling after holding a hearing last Friday with Brown, representatives from the league and the players’ union.
“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field,” Brown said in a statement on Twitter. “I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet.”
Brown has not participated in a full practice for the Raiders after starting training camp on the non-football injury list with injuries to his feet that reportedly came from frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France. Brown was cleared to practice on July 28 and participated in part of two sessions but wasn’t around the team last week when he had the grievance hearing with the NFL over his helmet.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy earlier in the day reiterated the league’s stance that Brown wouldn’t be allowed to practice or play without a certified helmet.
“The player can’t practice or play in games with equipment that’s not approved,” McCarthy wrote. “If he doesn’t play or practice he is in breach of his contract and doesn’t get paid. NFL policy is that helmets have to be certified by NOSCAE. They don’t certify equipment that’s (older) than 10 years.”
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment sets performance and test standards for equipment. Brown’s Schutt Air Advantage helmet is no longer allowed because the NFL follows the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) rule that helmets 10 years or older cannot be recertified.
Vikings hire Blue Jays’ Miller as COO
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired Toronto Blue Jays executive Andrew Miller as chief operating officer. Miller ran the Blue Jays’ business operations for four years, including capital improvements at Rogers Centre and at the team’s spring training facilities. Before that, he spent a decade in the Cleveland Indians organization in a variety of jobs. Miller replaces Kevin Warren, who became Big Ten commissioner in June.
Browns’ Thomas suffers scary injury
BEREA, Ohio — Browns defensive end Chad Thomas sustained a sprained neck but avoided a more serious injury during a scary moment at training camp.
Thomas was immobilized on the field and taken by ambulance to University Hospitals.
A team spokesman said Thomas, a third-round pick in 2018, was back at the Browns’ facility Monday evening. His return to practice will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Thomas appeared to absorb a blow to his right shoulder and head area during a play. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder stood up but then went to the ground, where he was treated by Browns medical personnel.
Patriots acquire TE Saubert from Falcons
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The New England Patriots have acquired tight end Eric Saubert from the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional draft pick.
Saubert, entering his third season, had five catches for 48 yards for the Falcons in 2018. He played in 16 games with one start. He had one catch for 7 yards in the Falcons’ first two preseason games. Saubert was a fifth-round draft pick from Drake in 2017.
Puig drops appeal of suspension
CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig has dropped the appeal for his three-game suspension for his involvement in a brawl when he was with Cincinnati.
Puig began serving his ban Monday night when the Indians, who have climbed back into a tie for first in the AL Central, opened a three-game series against Boston.
Puig was disciplined for his involvement in the latest benches-clearing incident between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates on July 30. The fracas began shortly after Puig was dealt to the Indians as part of a three-team trade that sent right-hander Trevor Bauer from Cleveland to Cincinnati.
Red Sox place Chavis on injured list
CLEVELAND — Michael Chavis played through the pain for as long as he could. On Monday, the Red Sox rookie finally gave in. Boston placed the versatile Chavis on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left shoulder he sustained recently while trying to make a diving catch.
Lowry withdraws from USA Basketball
Kyle Lowry of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors has withdrawn from the pool of candidates USA Basketball is considering to take to the FIBA World Cup later this month.
Lowry said his surgically repaired thumb isn’t ready to allow him to participate in on-court workouts. He had surgery last month to repair a torn tendon that dogged him during the NBA playoffs, and was hopeful of being on the floor as early as Tuesday when the Americans resume practice in El Segundo, California.
But after meeting with his surgeon on Monday, Lowry apparently realized he wasn’t going to be able to play.
Lowry’s decision means 15 players are still in the running for 12 spots — and one of those 15, Boston guard Marcus Smart, missed much of last week’s camp in Las Vegas with a calf injury.
Michigan State agrees to better protect patients from sexual assault
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University has agreed to better protect patients from sexual assaults, including following a chaperone requirement for sensitive medical exams, to resolve a federal civil-rights investigation into Larry Nassar’s abuse of young gymnasts and other athletes under the guise of medical treatment. The three-year agreement announced Monday is the first one struck under a section of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination in certain health care programs or activities, said Roger Severino, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. The deal covers not only students under Title IX but also patients who are not students.