The Cardinals’ special teams took a hit despite their win in Detroit this past weekend: They have lost a pair of their best special teams players. Linebacker Kenny Demens tore his ACL and was replaced on the roster by Dwight Freeney, and then Bruce Arians said tonight on his weekly SiriusXM NFL radio appearance that backup safety Chris Clemons (hamstring) was also going on season-ending injured reserve.
In a little better news, Arians said linebacker Alex Okafor, who hurt his calf Sunday, was expected to be out 2-to-4 weeks, which isn’t a terrible timeline because Arians said it was once feared worse. Even a month out would include the bye, so it essentially gives Okafor an extra week to recover. Arians said the Cardinals worked out a handful of players today to see who would fill Clemons’ roster spot.
(It reminded me a lot of the last time the Cardinals spent a week away. Okafor got hurt that trip too, and it was on this Sirius spot on Tuesday night that Arians broke the news Okafor was out for the season. This time, much better.)
As for Freeney, Arians said the plan is to play Freeney as a pass rusher only in nickel and dime packages, around 15 or 20 snaps a game. Arians didn’t say whether or not that included this weekend in Pittsburgh, but he did say Freeney had already dived into the playbook today.
Tags: Alex Okafor, Bruce Arians, Chris Clemons, Dwight Freeney, Kenny Demens
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