Just two weeks ago, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was putting John Brown’s roster spot on notice, saying of the oft-injured wideout, “You’re only good when you’re available.”
Well, on Saturday night, Brown finally showed up — in a big way.
The Cardinals receiver caught just two passes in Arizona’s 24-14 win over the Falcons, but both went for six, and both were highlight-reel worthy.
On the first of Brown’s second-quarter scores, he shook his defender at the line and used his trademark speed to break away for haul in a easy touchdown from Carson Palmer. His second TD grab, this one from Drew Stanton, was a stunning display of body control, as Brown, with his back to the ball, hauled in the pass and landed in bounds just inside the corner of a end zone.
Sidelined with a quadriceps injury throughout camp, still struggling with his sickle-cell issues and having missed the team’s first three preseason tests, Brown made up for a lot of lost time with his two touchdowns.
“It’s been difficult but it’s stuff I’ve handled many times in my life so I know how to handle the situation,” Brown said of his difficult training camp, per the team’s website. “It makes me more comfortable to be able to be here with my teammates.”
The catches also happened to lighten the mood in the Cardinals’ locker room. As Brown put it after the game, “They just happened to be a couple of catches. … The guys were way more happier than I was.”
Whether he did enough to get back in his coach’s good graces, and the Cardinals’ starting lineup, however, remains to be seen.