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Cardinals WR depth may be tested this week vs. Cincinnati

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

TEMPE, Ariz. — For the second straight day Michael Floyd did not practice, while John Brown was upgraded to limited after he sat out Wednesday’s work.

That pair represents two-thirds of the Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver corps in three-receiver sets, which head coach Bruce Arians is fond of using in games.

Their availability, at least as of Thursday’s injury report, appears to be somewhat in question heading into Sunday night’s primetime matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Floyd perhaps more so, according to Arians.

“He’ll get healthy as fast as he possibly can,” the coach said.

Both Floyd and Brown are dealing with hamstring injuries.

Floyd hurt his in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s win at Seattle.  Brown’s issue is a nagging one ever since before the Pittsburgh game in Week 6.

“It’s been a concern for about three weeks,” Arians said, referring to Brown.  “He needs to get back to full strength.”

Should one, or both, not be able to go on Sunday, then it’s next-man-up, and the Cardinals have several options be it Jaron Brown, Brittan Golden or rookie J.J. Nelson.

“Hopefully those guys will be able to play, but if not, you just got to be ready,” Jaron Brown said.

Last week against the Seahawks, it was Brown and Golden who stepped up their play.

Brown replaced Floyd and caught three fourth-quarter passes — all for first downs — with his first grab coming on a ball tipped by Richard Sherman.  The play gained 10 yards, continuing a drive that ended with Jermaine Gresham’s first touchdown of the season to retake the lead, 32-29.

Golden didn’t catch a pass — he was targeted once — but he provided a key block, allowing Andre Ellington to slide behind him down the Cardinals’ sideline for the game-clinching 48-yard touchdown run.

“I don’t think anybody else in the league has the depth that we have in our corps. Honestly, all seven of our guys could go out there and line up and play and not just be another body, but actually go out there and contribute,” Larry Fitzgerald said, making sure to include Jaxon Shipley from the practice squad.

“You saw what Jaron and Brit were able to do once they got in the game with no practice time much. They were able to just jump right in there and play fast and make plays.  That’s just a testament to our receivers coach Darryl Drake and (offensive assistant) Kevin Garver for getting us ready to play every Sunday.”

Among Cardinals receivers, John Brown and Floyd rank second and third, respectively, in both catches (37, 27) and receiving yards (562, 432).  They’re flipped in touchdowns with Floyd bettering Brown, five to three.

Fitzgerald (65-836-7) leads all categories.

Floyd, who suffered a hand injury during training camp that slowed his early-season production, has really come on strong in recent weeks.

Against Seattle, he caught a season-high seven passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, the latter of which gave him at least one TD reception in four consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Through the first five games this season, Floyd had eight catches for 104 yards as he worked his way back from the injury.  In his last four games, he has recorded 20 receptions for 328 yards and five touchdowns.

“We’re hoping Mike can go,” Fitzgerald said.  “What he’s been able to accomplish over the last five weeks, I mean, it’s been nothing short of amazing. The guy continues to make plays week after week after week.

“Whoever is out there, I know is going to be ready to play from a mental standpoint and be ready to play from a physical standpoint as well.”

Added Arians, “We have a group of six guys that we’re all very confident in.  If Mike can’t play, we’ll have somebody step in and be ready to go.”

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