For the second time in as many weeks, wide receiver John Brown entered the weekend questionable for the Arizona Cardinals’ matchup.
And for the second time in as many weeks, he’s active; not allowing a troublesome hamstring to keep him off the field.
Brown, the team’s second-leading receiver with 37 catches for 562 yards and three touchdowns, will suit up at Cleveland.
“I really want to make sure I’m back 100 percent because I can’t play half speed. The only thing I know is full speed,” he said, “and I don’t want to do nothing—Carson (Palmer) or Drew (Stanton) throw a ball too far, I’m going to go get it.”
Cornerback Jerraud Powers is active as well, which is a surprise. He sat out the entire week of practice after hurting his hamstring in the second half of Monday night’s win against Baltimore.
“He’s making good progress (in his rehab),” head coach Bruce Arians said on Friday.
Despite Powers’ availability, it’s expected that Justin Bethel will get the cornerback start alongside Patrick Peterson.
Tight end Darren Fells (shoulder) and linebacker Alex Okafor (calf) will not play. Both had already been ruled out.
That’s two straight games Fells has missed, three for Okafor.
“He’s getting real close,” Arians said, referring to Okafor, whose two sacks are tied for team-high honors with defensive tackle Frostee Rucker.
Fells and Okafor will certainly benefit from next week’s bye week and may be available Week 10 at Seattle.
The remaining inactives for Arizona include quarterback Matt Barkley, linebacker Shaq Riddick, tackle D.J. Humphries, guard/tackle Earl Watford and nose tackle Xavier Williams.
For the Browns, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (concussion), tight end Rob Housler (hamstring) and defensive back Jordan Poyer (shoulder) are out due to injury. Also sitting are quarterback Austin Davis, defensive back Don Jones, linebacker Jayson DiManche and tight end E.J. Bibbs.
On a short week, the Cardinals are after their second straight victory, still searching for that perfect four quarters of football.
“I can’t imagine anything less than perfection. Will you ever hit it? I doubt it, but you can get damn close,” Arians said. “We’ve had a couple that were really close in the last couple of years. I think when you don’t turn the ball over and you take it away and you do certain things in the red zone, you’re not going to get 100 percent. You’re not going to get 100 percent on third down, but those are still perfected games when you’re way up in the high 70s.”
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