Patrick Peterson had a brain lock Sunday, thinking a punt had been blown dead after the Cardinals were being flagged for a too-many-men penalty and letting the kick bounce some 30 yards down the field. Turns out the play hadn’t been blown dead (Bruce Arians later said he thought the play had been blown dead as well, but didn’t excuse Peterson from choosing a non-catch) and the Eagles declined the penalty. That’s on top of the dry streak Peterson has been on returning punts in the first place.
But Arians makes it clear that Peterson isn’t going anywhere. The Cardinals aren’t going to suddenly start using Tyrann Mathieu back there and Arians hasn’t lost faith in Peterson.
“He’s just getting all those Aussie kicks,” Arians said. “Nobody is punting the ball anymore. The last three or four games everyone is kicking their inside-the-50 punts, trying to get a 40-yard punt with hangtime and take him out of the game. He did a pretty good job taking one or two of those north and south against the Colts. This time, when you get outside in the elements (in Philadelphia) it’s a little different when that kick starts floating around. He did a great job on his poison call.”
Javier Arenas still was hit by the bouncing punt after the poison call, however, another special teams glitch that the Cards were fortunate to recover from when Antoine Cason picked up the ball.
In terms of sitting him down, maybe letting Peterson take a game off, Arians steadfastly says no. “Patrick is too big of a game-breaker,” Arians said. “You only get so many opportunities when they are going to kick it to us. You definitely want Patrick back there.”
Peterson has 28 punt returns this season, averaging 6.7 yards a return. He has nine punt returns of at least 10 yards this season, with four coming against Houston. His longest was 22 yards, in that same game.
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