TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals receiver John Brown suffered a concussion on July 31 and though he was cleared to return to practice on Aug. 21, he had been struggling with headaches and held out of many team activities.
Monday, however, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Brown was working off of a pair of headache-free days, and later in the afternoon Brown was dressed as if he was ready to practice.
Brown did some work, he said, but is still not where he needs to be.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” he said. “My main focus right now is just being able to practice, be able to get through a full practice.”
Brown said this is the first time he has suffered a concussion, and the 26-year-old said it has been a frustrating experience.
“It’s just a lot, everything that I had to go through and that I’m still going through, it’s just tough,” he said.
The entire situation has been all the more frustrating because Brown figured once he was cleared to practice, he would have been good to go. But then the headaches started happening. At the time, Arians said they did not know if they were related to the concussion or maybe even some medicine the receiver was taking.
That led to concern, and of course, the fact that the headaches occurred when Brown was exercising was also a bad sign given that his job involves a good amount of physical activity.
“It’s just like, as soon as I am standing up walking around, it will come,” he said. “But I’m doing fine now.”
Brown is coming off a season in which he caught 65 passes for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. A third-round pick in 2014, he quickly established himself as a key part of the offense, and though the Cardinals are deep at receiver, Brown’s absence in training camp and preseason games has been noticeable.
“It’s been really hard just to see my teammates out there working real hard and I’m not out there to help them,” Brown said. “Not to put in the work that they’re putting in, it’s kind of stressful.”
The 5-foot-11, 179-pound player out of Pittsburg State adds an element of speed to go along with good route running and hands, and getting him back to full strength will go a long way toward helping Arizona’s offense return to the form of a season ago.
While Brown was talking to reporters, fellow receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whose locker is nearby, interjected that the younger wideout would be ready to go for the Sept. 11 opener against the New England Patriots.
“They’re going to get a full dose,” Fitzgerald said.
Brown laughed at his teammate’s declaration and went on to say that all he is doing now is what the trainers and coaches tell him to. But, Monday was a step in the right direction.
“I’m feeling a lot better than I did before, so that’s a good start,” he said.