Cardinals wide receiver John Brown races 75 yards for his game-winning touchdown against the Eagles last season.
A season ago when playing the Eagles, John Brown got loose for a dramatic, 75-yard touchdown catch that not only beat Philadelphia but also put Brown on the national map as a wide receiver (and for his dancing skills.)
If the second-year wideout can make another play like that, the Eagles could be the opponent for another milestone for Brown – his first 1,000-yard season.
Brown is just 105 yards shy of quadruple digits with three games remaining. He has gained at least 105 yards in a game twice this
"It means a lot," Brown said. "It's big, especially being in the room with a whole bunch of playmakers. It's tough getting to that 1,000-yard mark with all the guys we got."
Maybe it shouldn't be seen as tough, in this high-powered offense piloted by quarterback Carson Palmer. Larry Fitzgerald is already there (1,088 yards) and Michael Floyd – while a long shot – has 652 yards as he barrels toward a sizzling finish. Floyd has gained at least 100 yards in four of his last five games.
"I believe he can do it," Brown said. "He's been on fire since he's been back (from a hamstring injury). That's been a goal in the receivers' room. We've been talking about that since the beginning of the season."
Palmer noted that Brown would probably already be there if it weren't for Fitzgerald and Floyd. Brown might be there anyway if it weren't for a hamstring injury that kept him from playing against Cleveland and catchless in Seattle.
History says it's Fitzgerald who is most likely to crack 100 yards against the Eagles. Fitzgerald's career numbers reflect domination against Philly. In seven games (including the NFC Championship), Fitzgerald has 11 touchdowns – at least one in every game – and has averaged 114.6 yards. Last season, Fitzgerald broke off an 80-yard TD and finished with 160 yards on seven receptions.
Fitzgerald said he has "no idea" why he has those stats against the Eagles.
"It's just football," Fitzgerald said. "Sometimes things open up for you, sometimes they don't.
"My confidence is the same no matter who I am playing against."
The Eagles are 24th in the league in passing yards allowed, and have given up 29 passing touchdowns – coincidentally, the same number of TDs Palmer has thrown through 13 games.
Odds are the 1,000-yard club will continue to be pushed.
"Someone is bound to have a good game," Floyd said.
ELLINGTON RETURNS TO PRACTICE, RASHAD JOHNSON DOES NOT
Running back Andre Ellington returned to practice Friday for the first time since hurt his toe in San Francisco last month. "He
moved around pretty good," Arians said.
On the flip side, starting safety Rashad Johnson (ankle) sat out practice again, although Arians said there is a chance he will play Sunday night in Philadelphia. Ellington and center Lyle Sendlein (knee), who also sat out practice, will be game-day decisions like Johnson, Arians said.
If Sendlein doesn't start, A.Q. Shipley would play center. If Johnson cannot go, Arians said the Cardinals have "plenty" of possibilities with Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger Sr..
Defensive tackle Cory Redding (ankle) didn't practice again and is listed as doubtful. The Cardinals have tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee), cornerback Patrick Peterson (ankle), cornerback Jerraud Powers (ankle) and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle) as questionable as well, although all are expected to be available.
The Eagles had all their players on the injury list as probable for the game.
BARKLEY'S HELP ON HIS FORMER TEAM
The Cardinals traded for Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley at the end of the preseason. Now that they are playing Philadelphia, the third-string Barkley provided help – although it isn't necessarily inside information.
"Not really as far as telling us what they do," Arians said. "But he executed their offense well."
That may be most crucial part in a week where the scout team's job was to prep the Cardinals defense in the looks they will be seeing on Sunday night. After playing for Chip Kelly the past two seasons, Barkley was the perfect scout team QB for this game.
As for the other aspects of understanding the Eagles, quarterback Carson Palmer said Barkley can help "a little bit" but that the changes Philly has gone through since the beginning of September – when Barkley left – tempers his advice.
"There's some stuff with personnel he's helped us out with," Palmer said.