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Antonio Brown Appears to Have a Case of (Extremely) Cold Feet

Antonio Brown, the longtime superstar receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is not practicing with his new team, the Oakland Raiders, because of a foot injury. The team hasn’t revealed the injury or given a timetable for his return, according to ESPN.

Last week, he posted a picture of his feet on Instagram. His skin was badly blistered and peeling, though Brown did have a big smile.

How did it happen?

Officially we don’t know. But reports, especially on, say that Brown entered a cryogenic therapy chamber without proper footwear and got frostbite.

A cryogenic what?

A cryogenic therapy chamber subjects people to very cold temperatures, somewhere between minus 200 and minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, for a short period of time. Elite athletes, including LeBron James, have been early adopters of the technology, although its use is spreading.

What is it supposed to do?

It is not known specifically why Brown went into the chamber, but adherents of the therapy have said it can help muscle soreness and even help people lose weight and look younger.

Does it really work?

Scientists are skeptical. Studies have found very little solid evidence that it helps any conditions. The Food and Drug Administration has not certified its use, and insurance will not pay for the sessions, which can cost $75 for three minutes. A New York Times reporter tried it out in 2017 and said it made her feel “hyper and euphoric.” (She wore proper footwear.)

What are the Raiders saying?

Not much specifically. Coach Jon Gruden said of Brown’s absence: “I think he’s disappointed. We think he’s disappointed. We’d like to get the party started. We’d like to get him out here.” There is no official timetable, and off-the-record reports vary widely over how long Brown will be out.

Has anything like this happened before?

The sprinter Justin Gatlin told TMZ that he had also gotten frostbite from cryotherapy, and it took him months to heal. “It was a disaster. I had, like, boils and blisters all over my ankles,” he said. “Every day I had to get those blisters popped by hand by a therapist. It just got really, really bad.”

Is this the weirdest sports injury ever?

You be the judge.

Glenallen Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1990 suffered cuts and carpet burns after waking up in a fright. “I have a phobia about spiders,” Hill said. “In the nightmare, I was trying to get away from spiders.” The previous year, another Blue Jay, David Wells, suffered injuries related to sleepwalking.

Steve Sparks of the Milwaukee Brewers dislocated his shoulder in 1994 trying to tear a phone book in half.

Bruce Walker of the New England Patriots suffered a chest injury in 1996 playing catch … with a knife.

Michael Jordan severed a tendon in his finger in 1999 while cutting a cigar.

Sammy Sosa strained back ligaments in 2004 by sneezing.

Clint Barmes of the Colorado Rockies broke his collarbone in 2005 falling while carrying a heavy package of deer meat down stairs.

Lindsey Vonn hurt her thumb in 2015 breaking up a fight between her dogs.

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