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John Brown will return from quad injury when 'I'm ready'

"I'm not just about to run out there and hurt myself because I got to be out there," John Brown said. AP Photo/Matt York

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If there's one thing Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown has learned throughout his injury-riddled career, it's that he can't rush back, regardless of how badly the team wants or needs him on the field.

Brown has been sidelined again this training camp, this time with a quad injury that's been lingering since July 28, a week into Arizona's training camp. While the injury is "getting there" and not yet healed enough to where Brown would prefer it, he won't return to the field just for the sake of returning.

"I'm not just about to run out there and hurt myself because I got to be out there," Brown said. "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."

But the fourth-year receiver said he's not frustrated with his most recent injury or the run of health issues that have plagued him since he was drafted in 2014.

He's accepted his current situation.

"It's kind of tough but I just got to deal with it," Brown said. "It's my body. If it keeps happening, it just keeps happening."

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday he's "concerned" that Brown isn't available. But there's little Brown can do at this point. He doesn't want to rush back.

"My body is different than others," he said. "They expect me to come back fast but I can't."

Brown said he's smarter about returning from injury now than he has been in the past. Years of ailments have prepared him for this. He's dealt with hamstring, shoulder and ankle injuries along with a concussion before the quad issue this year.

He couldn't estimate how long it'll take to get healthy again, just saying "time will tell." Brown suggested he could play Saturday night against the Chicago Bears but said he "won't be at my best."

With less than a month until the regular season, Brown couldn't commit to being ready for Week 1 at Detroit on Sept. 10.

"It's unknown," he said. "But if I can't produce in the preseason what can I do in the regular season? So I'm just taking it how it comes, taking it one day at a time."