CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals’ Hollywood Brown day to day with heel issue, ‘in a good space mentally’

Dec 14, 2023, 7:02 PM

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Hollywood Brown’s contract year has been a roller coaster to say the least.

He’s worked with three different starting quarterbacks after going through most of training camp with a fourth. And just when the wideout got his right-hand man and franchise signal caller Kyler Murray back in the mix, Brown suffered his own injury in the form of a heel issue that just won’t go away.

Through it all, though, Brown remains positive in the final year of his rookie contract and focused on putting the team over his own needs and wants as the season crawls to a close.

“It’s frustrating as far as production-wise, but really, I’m focused on the direction of the team and getting better each week,” he said. “We all believe in what we’re doing, we believe in where we can do.

“For me, it’s just about putting it on the tape. I feel like I’ve been putting it on the tape even though the production hasn’t been there. For me, I’m in a good space mentally, so I’m good.”

Despite the circumstances, Brown has still managed to find himself near or at the top of multiple offensive categories. He’s first in receiving touchdowns with four and catches of at least 20 yards with eight and second behind only up-and-coming tight end Trey McBride in receptions (56) and receiving yards (610) with 51 and 574, respectively.

But after dealing with the heel issue for the past few weeks, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel fresh off the bye.

While Brown didn’t take part in the team’s bonus practice on Monday or the official start of Week 15 work two days later, he was spotted running routes during the open portion of Thursday’s session.

The development comes after head coach Jonathan Gannon on Monday said Brown was feeling the better than he had “the past couple weeks.”

Getting Brown near or at 100% by Sunday’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers could go a long way in helping rekindle the connection between the wide receiver and Murray.

In the four games Murray has been back, Brown has caught just nine balls on 24 targets for 134 yards and zero touchdowns. The big breakout game(s) many expected the duo to have upon Murray’s return has yet to come to fruition. The lingering heel issue is surely a part of that in addition to the limited time they’ve had on the field together in 2023.

Seeing the two link up like they’ve had in the past would also be a big help against arguably the toughest defense in the league and one Murray knows all too well about.

“They’ve got great players all over the field,” Murray said Wednesday. “Rotating out defensive linemen on the field. They’ve got a ton of guys over there, more than probably anybody in the league. Since I got into the league, it’s been like that.

“I’m not going to say I’m used to it, but we’ve got to be ready for a war. I know they’re not going to come in here and take us lightly, especially after last game we played them pretty good.”

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