Big Ben says he has no issue with WR Brown

PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he has no issue with Antonio Brown and saw no foul behavior from the All-Pro receiver last week.

“If there was a blowout, I certainly didn’t see it,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday during his weekly radio appearance with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

A source said Brown “went off” on a teammate during the week and missed multiple practices and meetings before and after Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported that Brown threw a football in the direction of a teammate and that Brown was not hurt despite the team listing him on the injury report with a knee issue, making him inactive for the season finale.

A source said Roethlisberger was involved in the incident with Brown, but it was little more than Brown flaring up, as he has in the past.

A source close to the situation told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Brown was upset about being asked to run a hot read again during a walk-through and later told Roethlisberger he felt underappreciated.

Roethlisberger told the radio show he talked to Brown on Thursday morning and “everything was great,” but he understands the frustration expressed by teammates — himself included — who reached out and couldn’t get a hold of Brown later in the week.

Brown was seen around the facility Thursday but wasn’t present for that day’s practice, Friday’s workday or Monday’s exit meetings.

Roethlisberger called the magnitude of the story “baffling” based on what really happened.

“I’m blessed to play with him,” he said. “I consider him one of my closer friends. … Each guy has to answer that question [about welcoming him back to the locker room]. I know guys are frustrated, some of the guys I talked to, that they tried to reach out to him and didn’t hear back.”

Roethlisberger said coach Mike Tomlin made the decision “right before the game” that Brown wasn’t playing.

Tomlin will address the media Wednesday at noon ET.

Brown enters the third year of a five-year, $72.7 million extension in 2019.

“I hope he’s back here with me because he makes me better,” Roethlisberger said.

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