Brown jumped-kicked Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning at the end of a 46-yard punt return in the second quarter Sunday, drawing a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 30-27 victory.
Brown only had Lanning to beat for a touchdown in the second quarter. But he ended up kicking Lanning in the face when it initially looked like he would try to jump over the second-year punter.
"No intent to hurt him," Brown said. "I had my mind made up that he was going over me. I thought he was going low and I tried to leap over him. It was just a bad outcome of a play."
Brown, who finished with 116 yards and a touchdown on five receptions, could face a fine from the NFL after the league reviews the play.
"We'll see," Brown said when asked if he expects to be fined. "I had no intent of hurting anybody."
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said last week that he would use Brown, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, as a punt returner because he "wouldn't live with my fears."
It marks the second time since last December that Brown has been a central figure in a play in which an AFC rival's punter took a shot to the face.
Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin broke Kevin Huber's jaw near the end of last season when he obliterated Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber during Brown's 67-yard return for a touchdown. Garvin wasn't penalized on the play, but he was later fined $25,000 for unnecessary roughness.
Brown Can't Quite Clear Lanning
On a Steelers punt return, Antonio Brown tries to hurdle punter Spencer Lanning but catches his cleat in Lanning's helmet and is penalized for a unnecessary roughness penalty.