Tyrann Mathieu was a little irritated with himself after his first practice Thursday in 11-on-11 work, lamenting a dropped interception. Then again, the safety got to move around well, in the estimation of coach Bruce Arians, and he even got a couple of hits in during a non-hitting practice, knocking down Ted Ginn and Andre Ellington after catches.
“I wasn’t really trying to hit them, but I put a little weight on,” Mathieu said with a chuckle, a nod to the “11 or 12″ pounds he added in the offseason so he could get stronger.
Mathieu admitted he felt a little lucky he wasn’t booted out of the work. “I thought (Arians) was going to throw me out of practice,” Mathieu said, smiling again. “He doesn’t usually let people hit Andre.” (That hit is pictured below.)
Better yet, Mathieu said he wasn’t feeling sore and there has been no swelling. Arians said the status of Mathieu and fellow just-off-the-PUP defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu could still conceivably play Sunday against the Bengals, but give that neither will have even gone through a full practice (they aren’t expected to this afternoon either) it seems very unlikely the Cards would expose either this week.
— Along those lines, linebacker Kevin Minter (pectoral) and guard Jonathan Cooper (toe) would be game-day decisions, Arians said, but neither are practicing today. I can’t see either playing Sunday. Arians said next week — a very short week with the final preseason game Thursday — would be crucial. If they don’t play in the preseason finale, Arians said, he can’t see them playing in the Monday night opener.
— Linebacker John Abraham does have a chance to play against the Bengals. Nothing set in stone yet, however.
— Tackle Max Starks (ankle) will return to practice today and has a chance to play Sunday. Interestingly, Bradley Sowell — who had been struggling earlier in camp — has made “really good progress” the last two weeks. It is a battle between Starks and Sowell for the backup swing-tackle spot on the roster.
— Kenny Demens is the inside linebacker starter with Larry Foote while Minter is sidelined. Lorenzo Alexander has actually been working more at outside linebacker again, Arians said.
— After Carson Palmer starts Sunday, Drew Stanton will come in at the start of the third quarter or possibly sooner, Arians said. Logan Thomas will quarterback the fourth quarter. Ryan Lindley is not scheduled to play and it’s clear he is behind Thomas.
Tags: Drew Stanton, Jonathan Cooper, Kenny Demens, Kevin Minter, Larry Foote, Logan Thomas, Lorenzo Alexander, Max Starks, Tyrann Mathieu
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