New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown made a big splash in his debut for the team, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady late in the first half at Miami. Brown celebrated by leaping into the first row of the stands.
Brown played days after his former personal trainer accused him of rape and sexual assault in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations.
Brown led the Patriots with four catches for 56 yards at halftime, when they were ahead 13-0. He went without any more catches in the second half as the Patriots tacked on 30 more points unanswered in a blowout.
Brown suited up wearing No. 17 after he wasn't placed on the commissioner's exempt list. Players on the exempt list can't play in games or practice with a team but are still paid. A player can be placed on the list at any point.
The wide reciever didn't speak with reporters after the game. Brady, asked about Brown, said he was "trying to find the open guy" on the touchdown pass and Brown "did a great job. It was good to find him."
The NFL plans to meet Monday Brown's accuser, Britney Taylor, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Taylor said Tuesday in a statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies.
U.S. & World
Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, said Brown and Taylor had "a consensual personal relationship." He told the AP on Tuesday his client plans to countersue.
The Boston Globe first reported the meeting.
No criminal charges have been filed and the NFL hasn't fully developed its investigation, so Brown was able to play for the Patriots, who acquired him after him requested and got his release from Oakland.
The AP and NBC do not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly. Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.
"As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision," Taylor said. "I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape."