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Jaron Brown Makes His Comeback

Posted Jul 23, 2017

Notes: CB spot "wide open," Baker adjusts to NFL; Palmer rests

Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown is coming off ACL surgery.

Jaron Brown knows tearing an anterior cruciate ligament is not unique in football. Teammates Carson Palmer and Tyrann Mathieu have been through it twice each during their NFL careers.

“Even talking to (rookie wide receiver) Chad Williams today, he told me he tore his ACL in 10th grade,” the veteran wide receiver said Sunday. “It’s a lot more common. Guys like Ty and Carson have given me pointers throughout the rehab process.”

Brown – and his ability to return from the left ACL tear suffered in October last season – is one of the more intriguing players on the roster. He has developed into a reliable receiver and a very good player on special teams. But at a position crowded currently, he needs to make sure his ACL issues are behind him.

He’s still on a pitch count of sorts. The Cardinals use a metric system that measures players’ practice workload, and once Brown hits his 300 “load” (a measurement that varies from player to player) he has been shut down.

Eventually, coach Bruce Arians said, Brown will have his workload increased, and eventually take off his knee brace. Brown said he hopes to have the brace off within the next week or so.

“I don’t think I’ve been so excited to practice,” Brown said, noting the mental hurdles that have to be overcome after an ACL injury.

Brown, who signed a one-year contract in the offseason, had seemingly just made a jump up the depth chart at receiver when he got hurt. He had 11 catches in seven games, on his way to setting a personal-best.

“It’s always frustrating, especially for the injury to happen when it did,” Brown said. “Throughout rehab, that’s what’s been on my mind, just to get back to where I was.”

CORNERBACK BATTLE “WIDE OPEN”

Arians said the competition for the starting cornerback job across from Patrick Peterson is “wide open,” although he praised the work of current first-stringer Justin Bethel for now. Bethel and Brandon Williams are the top two options on the roster.

There remains a chance the Cardinals could also sign a veteran cornerback at some point.

Arians said he wouldn’t make a decision on a starter until the end of the preseason. He also said the Cardinals may alternate starters in the preseason “just to make sure they are getting equal opportunities.”

BUDDA MAKES HIS WAY

Second-round draft pick Budda Baker missed all the offseason work because of his school’s late graduation date. After his initial practice, Arians was blunt in his assessment.

“Looks like a damn rookie,” Arians said.

But after practice No. 2 finished Sunday, Baker said he thought he had been doing OK. He made the Cardinals’ initial interception of training camp Sunday as well.

“There have been rookie moments,” Baker said, adding that he wasn’t sure how much his missed time really cost him.

“You never know what I could’ve learned in the summer,” Baker said. “For me, I’m trying to learn in the moment.”

INJURY UPDATE AND PALMER REST

Arians said cornerbacks Elie Bouka (ankle) and Jumel Rolle (hamstring) were both scheduled to get MRIs on Sunday. Linebacker Jarvis Jones (quad/NFI list) remains day-to-day.

Quarterback Carson Palmer got his first scheduled day off Sunday. The Cardinals hold their first padded practice of camp Monday.

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