John Brown is back: Cards receiver says he feels good again

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Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown hopes to have a big 2017 season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown hopes to have a big 2017 season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

John Brown is back.

“It feels good to be back playing football. The trainers did a good job,” said the Cardinals receiver. “I thank God they found the situation. I feel like I’m back to where I can help the team.”

The man his teammates called "Smokey" was slowed by injury in the 2016 season. Brown saw his production cut in half. He just didn’t feel well.

Brown was initially slowed by a concussion in training camp. He returned to the field but battled fatigue and what he thought were complications resulting from sickle cell trait.

“It was just a long process,” said Brown, who was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh State. “I was thinking it was sickle cell trait and come to find out at the end of the season I had a cyst on my spine.”

After having the cyst drained, Brown said he felt like himself again within 24 hours. He finished the 2016 season with career lows in catches (39), yards (517) and touchdowns (2). The Cardinals finished 7-8-1 and seemed to sorely miss Smokey’s smile.

“Just to be able to have his charisma back in the locker room,” said fellow Cardinals receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, “Talking crap, mixing it up with the guys, seeing that smile, it’s been great. I’m excited for him.”

Brown’s contract is up at the end of the year. He’s hoping to return to his 2015 form where he caught a career-high 65 passes in 2015 for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. He knows it all starts with smiling again. 

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