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When Needed, Jaron Brown Comes Through

Posted Nov 16, 2015

Block by Brittan Golden underscores depth at wide receiver

Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown moves upfield after his improbable catch against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during Sunday night's win in Seattle.

A year ago, Jaron Brown dropped the pass he should’ve caught.

Sunday night, he caught the pass he probably shouldn’t have been able to get.

With it, the wide receiver cemented his place in the Cardinals’ important victory in Seattle, and that doesn’t even count his crucial third-down reception later in the fourth quarter. It was Brown’s finest game as a Cardinal.

“You’ve just got to be ready for everything,” said Brown, and while he was talking about being the fourth wide receiver on a team with three star wide receivers, it couldn’t have fit his game Sunday any better.

Brown made a 10-yard catch of a Carson Palmer pass tipped in the air by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and seemingly destined for Sherman’s mitts before Brown leaped and not only stopped a pick but grabbed the ball himself. It was in stark contrast to his 2014 trip to Seattle, when Brown dropped a wide-open touchdown pass in the first half.

“I know it was good for him to make those plays,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He had a certain fire for retribution and I’m really happy for him. No one works harder on our team than him.”

There is no denying the wattage of the three receivers at the top of the food chain. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd each had 100-yard games against the Seahawks. John Brown, still troubled by his bad hamstring, played 59 of 89 offensive snaps and didn’t have a catch (after being targeted three times.)

With John Brown less than ideal and Floyd later hurting his own hamstring, it was Jaron Brown and fifth receiver Brittan Golden who were needed on the important fourth-quarter drives. Jaron Brown got his catches. And Golden, while he wasn’t targeted, locked up cornerback Cary Williams on a block that ultimately allowed Andre Ellington to finish his game-clinching 48-yard touchdown run.

“To be trusted to go in at a time like that – in Seattle, a big division game – they trust you go to in and know what to do, it’s a blessing,” Golden said.

With Floyd – officially day-to-day, Arians said – and John Brown dealing with their injuries, Jaron Brown and Golden may just be that much more important in the short-term.

It’s not an easy existence. Both players have been on the roster fringe, fighting for jobs in training camp, knowing that unless one of the Big Three go down, their offensive plays will be extremely limited at best.

“When you look at who is ahead of you, you really can’t be mad about your snaps,” said Golden, who like Brown is a special teams standout. “You have Larry and Mike and Smoke. J.J. (Nelson) is in the group, and J.B. had a hell of a game last night. You have to take what you can get and you should be happy. You don’t get to be on a team like this very often.”

When Floyd left the game on the drive in which the Cardinals retook the lead, Palmer targeted Jaron Brown four out of five plays. The two completions were the amazing tip-drill over Sherman – “It was just ‘See ball, get ball,’ ” he said – and the other was a 20-yard catch-and-run the play before tight end Jermaine Gresham made his touchdown catch. Fitzgerald called Brown’s play to stop Sherman from getting an interception the biggest play of the game.

On the Cards’ final drive, Brown made an impressive eight-yard grab on third-and-3 to preserve what would become Ellington’s touchdown.

“That’s one thing I’ve been all my life – be ready to go in the game at any time,” Brown said. “What can help me is learning all the positions, so if a guy goes down, I can go right in.”

IUPATI DAY-TO-DAY

Arians said guard Mike Iupati will be day-to-day after hurting his neck in Seattle. Iupati is going to go through the concussion protocol as a precaution, but he was at the facility Monday in good spirits.

“It’s up to the player,” Arians said of Iupati’s ultimate readiness. “Sometimes, it’s harder for the player to get over. He’s healthy, but it’s hard to get over it. When he’s ready, he’ll tell us.” …

Defensive tackle Cory Redding (low ankle sprain) is also day-to-day, Arians said. 

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