Wide receiver Antonio Brown will be eligible to make his New England Patriots debut Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Brown, who signed with the Patriots after his release from the Oakland Raiders last week, was accused of rape and sexual assault in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Southern District of Florida. Brown and his legal team have denied the allegations.
The NFL decided against placing Brown on the commissioner's exempt list because no criminal charges have been filed in the case, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The exempt list is a procedural move, which only commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to execute .
Players on the commissioner's exempt list are not eligible to participate in games or practices, but are still paid. They also still have access to the team's facility for individual workouts, treatments, meetings and other non-football activities, at the team's discretion. Per the NFL Player Personnel Policy Manual, players are to be placed on the list "only in unusual circumstances."
Contributing: Chris Bumbaca