Arians cautiously optimistic Cardinals WR John Brown returns vs. Panthers
The Arizona Cardinals scratched their way back to .500 with consecutive wins against the 49ers and Jets only to add a tie to their record with a grind of a 6-6 tie against the Seattle Seahawks. Now, the Cardinals hit the road to face their demons in Carolina against the Panthers.
Head coach Bruce Arians made his weekly Tuesday appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Late Hits show to talk about the team’s tie. The head honcho of the Cardinals went into detail about injuries to John Brown (sickle cell), Michael Floyd (hamstring) and Jared Veldheer (finger), and explained his post-tie ritual.
Arians hopes John Brown can play at Carolina but admitted the flight has him worried. “We think we’ve got Smokey’s condition under control. I’m concerned about the flight cross-country … we’re going to have to make sure this doesn’t come back on him — the muscle fatigue thing — and he can play this week.” Brown missed the Seattle game after an injury previously thought to be a hamstring issue was diagnosed as a result of his sickle-cell trait.
Arians added Arizona has its “fingers crossed” Michael Floyd can play after he suffered a hamstring tweak but continued to play against Seattle. Arians also said left tackle Jared Veldheer “fractured a finger, but I think he’s going to be fine.”
Again, the Cardinals like the game tape, even in the tie. A lot. “Probably the best football game we’ve played in four years. Driving the football, getting in scoring position, it was one of our best efforts against Seattle. Defensively, by far the best we’ve played them since we’ve been there,” Arians said. “We’ve had problems in the past with crowd noise, communicating on defense. I just thought we played lights out defensively.”
Markus Golden, Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell get all the credit. But Arians digs the guy who was missing in his first year with Arizona. “Corey Peters is a guy, unsung hero, he gets all the double-teams and eats people up for Calais and Chandler to be singled up,” Arians said.
This might’ve been Arians’ best explanation yet of why he was upset about Bobby Wagner’s leaping of the line on Cardinals field goal attempts. “The competition committee went through that play and the officials wanted it taken out,” Arians said. “The committee left it in, but it cannot be officiated. Whether he touches, whether it was leverage, was the foot within the framework within the defensive lineman’s feet before he jumped? I think it’s bad for football. I think it’s a dangerous play as a it is and should be taken out of the game. I think we’re putting a very big burden on the officials to call that play.
Arians, on the Panther’s 1-5 record: “I keep thinking it’s a mistake, they got to be 5-1. They look the same other than the young corners out there.”
Arians celebrates victories with a post-win cocktail. What about after a tie? “Have two.”