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New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown scored a touchdown on Sunday in his debut with the New England Patriots but remains the subject of a rape probe.The Associated Press

When Antonio Brown celebrated his first touchdown with the New England Patriots by vaulting into a first-row luxury box, he didn’t linger.

The Patriots had a job to finish.

Determined to play to the final gun after allowing a miracle comeback at Miami last year, the Patriots beat the Dolphins 43-0 Sunday.

Coach Bill Belichick had Tom Brady still throwing at the end.

“We’re playing 60 minutes,” Belichick said.

The Pats did that. They scored twice on interception returns in a two-minute fourth-quarter span, and registered their first shutout since Week 3 of 2016.

The defending Super Bowl champions won for only the second time in their past seven trips to Miami, and avenged a loss in 2018 on a last-second pass and double lateral.

Meanwhile, the NFL plans to meet Monday with a woman who says she was raped by Brown.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the meeting to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

On Sunday, Brown helped get the Patriots going. The Patriots were 18.5-point favourites but led only 7-0 late in the first half before Brady hit his newest target for a 20-yard score.

They connected four times in all.

“It was a good start,” Brady said. “I was just trying to find an open guy. He was snapping off some routes and did a great job.”

Brown, who signed last Monday, made an 18-yard catch on his first play and finished with 56 yards receiving, all in the first half. He won raves from teammates for his debut.

“It was awesome,” receiver Julian Edelman said. “A lot of energy. He’s a playmaker.”

One thing Brown didn’t do was talk to reporters after the game. The NFL allowed the four-time All-Pro receiver to play despite a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday by his former trainer accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. Brown has denied the allegations.

Britney Taylor accused Brown of rape and sexual assault in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.

Taylor said Tuesday in a statement she will co-operate with the NFL and any other agencies.

Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.” He told AP on Tuesday that his client plans to counter-sue.

The Boston Globe first reported the meeting.

New England activated the four-time All-Pro receiver after he wasn’t placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. 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 he requested and got his release from Oakland.

Players on the exempt list can’t play in games or practise with a team, but are still paid. A player can be placed on the exempt list at any point.

Belichick declined to discuss the decision to activate Brown.

The AP does 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.”

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