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Dealing Cards: Back at practice, John Brown says he’s ‘still hurting’

Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver John Brown arrives for a voluntary team NFL football workout, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Cardinals were back on the practice field Tuesday for a padded session that, for what it’s worth, seemed to be a pretty good one.

Head coach Bruce Arians chatted with the media before practice, so his assessment of Tuesday’s practice will have to wait until Wednesday.

Still, there were plays made on both sides of the ball, which in situations like this is probably what you’re looking for.

Notable

– QB Carson Palmer, LB Karlos Dansby and RB Chris Johnson appeared to have veterans days off. Arians said on Monday that WR Larry Fitzgerald and DL Frostee Rucker would also skip practice, but both were on the field Tuesday. For what it’s worth, Fitzgerald answered “no” when asked if he was supposed to be off Tuesday.

– Budda Baker was making plays once again and broke up a deep ball from Blaine Gabbert to Chad Williams during one-on-one.

– Drew Stanton found David Johnson for a touchdown in the red zone, with the running back beating linebacker Chandler Jones on the play. Johnson later beat Scooby Wright in 7-on-7. Side note: You’ll be hard-pressed to find any linebacker who can hang with Johnson in a one-on-one setting.

– Speaking of Johnson and Wright, the two were part of a solid collision early in practice, when Johnson went across the middle for a short pass that resulted in a touchdown.

– Safety Tyrann Mathieu nearly had a few interceptions, including one he probably should have come down with off of Stanton in the red zone. Late in practice he broke on a ball to break up a pass to Fitzgerald.

– Undrafted free agent QB Trevor Knight connected with TE Gerald Christian for a score in red zone.

– On one play, Gabbert rolled out to his right before firing back toward the middle of the end zone, where receiver Jeremy Ross caught the ball for a score.

– Phil Dawson wasn’t perfect, but he did (barely) make a field goal that appeared to be from about 55 yards out.

– Stanton and rookie Chad Williams connected for a score in 7-on-7, with the receiver beating safety Tyvon Branch on the play. It was not a perfect day for Williams, however, as he dropped some catchable passes — including one that would have gone for a long TD.

– Knight found TE Ifeanyi Momah for a short touchdown in 11-on-11.

– Jaron Brown continued his strong camp, coming down with a short touchdown in what was the final play from scrimmage in practice. Brown would neither confirm nor deny that, after catching the ball, he proclaimed “It’s too easy, man!” Prior to practice, Arians said Brown was the team’s No. 2 receiver right now.

Injury update

Early on it appeared as though linebacker Josh Bynes pulled up with an injury while trying to cover RB James Summers down the field in one-on-one. He returned to practice only to leave again shortly thereafter. We’ll have to get an update to see what the case of No. 45 on No. 45 crime resulted in.

Not practicing due to injury Tuesday were receivers Carlton Agudosi (knee) and Brittan Golden (groin), along with RB T.J. Logan (wrist), linebackers Markus Golden, Jarvis Jones (back) and Philip Wheeler, defensive back Rudy Ford (hamstring), tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (ankle), defensive lineman Ed Stinson (hamstring) and $ LB Deone Bucannon (ankle).

Yes, there was smoke

After participating in small doses of practice over the last few days, John Brown finally made it back onto the field Tuesday in a more full capacity. But while that would seem to indicate that the receiver, who is dealing with a quad issue, is finally healthy, that is not the case.

“I’m still hurting,” he said. “I’m just doing what I can do.”

Brown said he’s not sure how long it will take for his quad injury to heal, but until it does, he will be forced to deal with pain.

Health issues plagued Brown all last season, and the hope was that it was all behind him and 2017 would see a return to the form that made him one of the more dynamic wideouts in the game in 2015. But a hamstring injury ended his minicamp, and after a good start to training camp, the quad had kept him sidelined for weeks.

Brown’s absence has been noticeable in a receiver room that drew Arians’ ire Monday, with the fourth-year pro not being able to do much to help the cause.

“It’s a concern,” Arians said of Brown then. “He’s not available. You’re only as good when you’re available.”

While Brown may feel like he has to be on the field in order to show what he is capable of, he said he’s not healthy and therefore really cannot show much.

“Not really, not where I want to be,” he said when told he looked pretty good Tuesday.

This entire process — from last season through this current one — has been a somewhat frustrating one for the 27-year-old, though he understands he will need time to heal. As for what this could mean with regard to his future and whether or not he will consistently struggle with his health, he said he is just dealing with things as they come.

“I can’t help what goes on. That’s just the way my body is,” he said. “I hope it will go away, but if it keeps coming, I just feel like I’ll be a hurt to the team.”

So while the Cardinals are glad to see him back, and the team may need his services sooner rather than later, Brown has little interest in coming back before he’s truly ready.

“I’m not just about to run out there and hurt myself because I’ve got to be out there,” he said. “I understand the situation that’s going on with the receivers and all that, but I’m going to just come back when I’m ready.”

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