The Cardinals may have found a solution for Brown's sickle-cell trait, ArizonaSports.com reports. "He is very healthy, looks like they found the issue," team president Michael Bidwill said Tuesday. "We'll get Smoke back the way we had him." After Brown was diagnosed in Week 7, he was missing in action within the Cardinals' offense, surpassing 30 yards receiving in only two of nine contests. For a burner like Brown, his 55.6 percent catch rate (15 receptions on 27 targets) during that stretch wasn't unexpected, but issues with fatigue conspired to inhibit his varied skill set. If an answer to his health woes has been found, he'd be the obvious candidate for third option in the mind of Carson Palmer behind Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. In such a scenario -- and assuming no additions on the receiving front in the offseason -- Brown could hearken back to his first two campaigns, when he hauled in 12 touchdowns and racked up 1,699 yards on 204 targets.
Brown hauled in 39 of 72 passes for 517 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games during the 2016 season. Heading into training camp, the Cardinals boasted arguably the deepest corps of wideouts in the NFL, with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Brown, and second-year pro J.J. Nelson among its ranks. Almost immediately, though, the hard knocks began to trickle in, first in the form of a concussion that wiped away all preseason action for Brown. While he was able to suit up in the regular season opener, his production wavered significantly from week to week, as he recorded exactly one reception on three occasions and tallied five-plus catches in the others, including 10 grabs and 144 yards in Week 4. However, the campaign took a dark turn upon his diagnosis of a sickle-cell trait in Week 7. During his final nine appearances of the season, his share of the offensive snaps experienced wild swings, ranging from 28 to 81 percent. The preceding was likely dependent upon the level of fatigue induced in a given contest, but he rarely made his presence felt, resulting in career lows across the board by season's end. As he embarks on the offseason, his and the Cardinals' focus will be on controlling the trait so he can reestablish himself as the deep threat he represented prior to 2016.
Brown (illness) is active for Sunday's contest in Los Angeles, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. Brown followed a similar practice pattern to that of Week 15, when his DNP/limited/limited regimen translated to his most impactful outing since a midseason diagnosis of a sickle-cell trait. During that shootout with the Saints, he sprung for a 30-yard touchdown among five receptions for 81 yards. Brown will attempt to strike again against a Rams defense that has given up 11 touchdowns to wide receivers over the last six games.
Brown (illness) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Rams. Brown being diagnosed with a sickle-cell trait ahead of Week 7 has resulted in him being listed as questionable over the second half of this season. Although he's yet to miss a game since then because of illness, Brown's involvement has varied dramatically, making him a difficult fantasy option to count on.
Brown (illness) practiced in a limited capacity Thursday. After Wednesday's DNP, Brown's first since Dec. 14, he turned in what has become his maximum activity level on any given injury report since Nov. 11. Poised to receive a questionable designation upon the release of Friday's injury report, he's nonetheless a difficult option to consider Sunday at Los Angeles due to his sporadic snap count, which has ranged from 28 to 81 percent of those for the Cardinals' offense since he was diagnosed with a sickle-cell trait in Week 7.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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