Kerry Taylor smiled. The NFL, “it’s definitely a roller-coaster ride” the wide receiver said, and there’s little question Taylor is one of the guys who has been strapped in for all the loops and inverted rolls in his short career.
He’s on a high now, the wind whipping through his air as he races down the fun part of the track. It took a hamstring injury to Larry Fitzgerald to get him on the active roster from the practice squad, and for now, he’s sticking around. The Cardinals filled their practice squad Tuesday with two new receivers – bringing back Dan Buckner and bringing in Brittan Golden, cut by the Bears – meaning Taylor is safe.
Will he stay there? Bruce Arians isn’t saying for certain. First, Fitz has to get completely healthy, which won’t be before the Saints game. “So much will determine on injuries at that point in time,” Arians said of Taylor’s active-roster future. “Those last five guys (on the 53-man roster), they can flip-flop every week.”
That’s far from security. But Taylor will take it. This is the first time Taylor has gotten a real opportunity to play in the league, having bounced around to a handful of teams since his 2011 rookie season. There was a week in San Francisco, a few weeks in New England, a training camp in Green Bay. That’s the league for many players, just trying to hang on to a job.
He was thrilled to sign with the Cardinals last year for the practice squad. In those other places, it was “waking up in a new city, getting a rental car, and basically it was ‘Good luck,’ ” Taylor said. In Arizona – where Taylor grew up, went to high school at nearby Chandler Hamilton and attended Arizona State – he already knew where the Cards’ complex was, how to get home, and where to buy groceries.
Then Sunday, he made his first NFL catch, remarkably not from a quarterback but a cornerback: Patrick Peterson’s first NFL pass, a 17-yard throw. His second catch of three was for 16 yards and allowed Carson Palmer to surpass 30,000 yards passing in his career. So a couple of important milestones.
The roller coaster ride isn’t over, of course. Taylor thought he made the roster after the preseason for one day, until he was cut the next. Then he was brought back to the practice squad. He has gotten much more of an opportunity in Arizona than he ever has anywhere else, but that guarantees nothing in this business.
“I thought I made it, I didn’t,” Taylor said. “Now I hope I can stay up.”
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