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Cards wideout John Brown says he’s not healthy yet

As Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer inch closer to retirement, the Arizona Cardinals receiving corps must perform at a higher level.

Cardinals wide receiver John Brown heard coach Bruce Arians loud and clear, when the coach complained about his lack of talented wide receivers.

But Brown wanted to make it clear that he’s not performing to standard right now because he’s not healthy enough to.

“I understand the situation that’s going on with the receivers and all that, but I’m just going to come back when I’m ready,” Brown said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.

As part of griping about the overall talent of his receiving corps (five were out with injury this week), Arians bemoaned Brown’s lingering quadriceps injury. He’s been limited in practice since early in camp.

“He’s not available,” Arians said. “You’re only as good as when you’re available.”

Brown has dealt with a number of issues. Last year a concussion kept him out of most of camp, and it was later discovered he has sickle-cell trait, which can cause leg soreness and fatigue. That helped explain the drop in numbers from 2015 to 2016 (1,003 yards to 517). This offseason, he had a cyst in his back drained, but seemed healthy until the muscle strain. And while Arians suggested he was ready to go, Brown might not play Saturday against the Bears, and he doesn’t sound like a guy who intends to rush himself back.

“My body is different than others’,” Brown said. “They expect me to come back fast, but I can’t. I’m all right, but I’m not where I want to be at. . . .

“I’m not just about to run out there and hurt myself because I got to be out there. If I can’t produce in the preseason, what can I do in the regular season?”

If he’s well and on the field, he’s produced at a high level. And if he gets back to that, it would ostensibly make Arians happy.