Perhaps no Charger was having a stronger preseason and training camp last year than
In his second year out of San Diego State, the wide receiver was pacing the team with six catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns in six quarters of action. He appeared set to build off his rookie campaign when he recorded 19 receptions for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Primed to play an integral role in 2012, it all came suddenly to a screeching halt.
After catching an 18-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter of the second exhibition game against the Dallas Cowboys on August 18th, a defender landed awkwardly on the back of his leg. The result was a broken ankle forcing Brown to miss the entire season.
“It was tough having it all come to an end so suddenly like that,” he said. “We didn’t have the best season last year, so it was tough watching that and knowing I could have helped. But God had a plan. I’m giving all glory to him. He put me through that to get back on the right track. ”
Ten months have passed since Brown suffered the injury, and last week’s OTA practices marked the 5-foot-11,184-pound receiver’s return to action. Boasting an ear-to-ear grin the entire time he spoke , Brown is happy to finally be back on the field.
“It’s a blessing just to be running around again,” he said. “I feel like a 10-year old kid running around, just happy to be out there. It’s been fun and I’m working to get back to where I was before. It’s been a tough battle trying to get it strong. I’d have a bunch of steps forward, then some back. But the point where it is now, I’m able to cut on it and run full speed. “
Even though he admits it’s a cliché, Brown said it took being away from the game he loves to fully appreciate how much it means to him.
Having to miss an entire season was tough on Brown, but seeing the city of San Diego rally around him lifted his spirits. It’s something he will never forget.
“It was awesome,” he said. “Hats off to the fans. We have a really deep fan base that cares and they meant a lot to me. They would tweet me or email me support and tell me how they couldn’t wait for me to come back. They were amazing.”
Now that he is finally back, Brown is busy rebuilding his rapport with
“We’re getting there,” he explained. “They’re easing me back into things making sure my mechanics are back where they should be. I mean, I haven’t run routes in a year so I’m trying to get all that back too. But I’m sneaking in as many reps with Philip as I can.”
In addition to finding his rhythm with Rivers, Brown also is getting used to a new coaching staff led by Head Coach Mike McCoy. While some may feel extra pressure to perform in front of new leadership, the third-year wideout is taking a focused yet relaxed approach. He’s content to let his game do the talking and is confident that will translate into a big role.
“I just have to go out there and do my job when I have my opportunities,” he said. “It’s a great new staff. They’ve implemented a lot already and you can tell where they want to take this team. I think it’s very important I go out there and play my game, and good things will come. My thing has always been to play whatever role I can to help the team win. I’m going to come in and do my job. I’m going to do whatever I can. Hopefully that will lead to contributing and getting the team some wins.”