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Housler, Sampson sitting vs. San Diego

Posted by Darren Urban on August 27, 2011 – 5:35 pm

Tight end Rob Housler (groin) and wide receiver DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), a pair of rookies who have impressed early, will not play tonight in the third preseason game against San Diego. Both got hurt during practice this past week. Quarterback John Skelton (ankle) also is sitting out, setting the stage for Rich Bartel to be the backup and possible playing time for newcomer Brodie Croyle.

Linebacker Brandon Sharpe (hamstring), safety Adrian Wilson (biceps) and cornerback Michael Adams (knee) are also sitting out for the Cards.


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Going forward at QB, and other lunch notes

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2011 – 12:28 pm

The Cardinals wanted Brodie Croyle at quarterback because he did come from Todd Haley’s system, and there are similarities with that and what the Cards run. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cards waived-injured Max Hall because it was the only way they could have any chance of bringing Hall back this season. They can injury settle with Hall and then re-sign him down the road. Will it happen/be necessary? Well, if there is an injury, I could see wanting to turn back to Hall. Otherwise, I’m not sure it would happen.

As for Croyle, with two games in five days (the Cards play Saturday and again Thursday), they need someone who didn’t come in completely cold. It’s not like they are bringing him in just because of that, Whisenhunt said, but it was a major factor. “We did have good grades on him coming out,” Whiz said.

Croyle (pictured below at his first practice this morning) doesn’t know what to expect. “I will come in and hopefully play well and we will see what happens,” Croyle said, adding that he hopes to see some time against the Chargers Saturday. “I’d like to but we will see. It wouldn’t be the ideal situation, but you play when you can. I’ll take reps when I can get them.”

Starting quarterback Kevin Kolb was asked about seeing the Chargers this weekend and then the Panthers — who are led by new head coach and former San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera — opening weekend, and whether he can glean anything from it. Kolb actually weaved in the arrival of Croyle, and the Haley tie. “We said to Brodie, ‘Is this pretty similar?’ And he’s like, ‘Ehhh …’ ” Kolb said. “Coaches want to change their stuff. You can’t get caught up thinking you’ll be seeing the same things.”

– Whisenhunt said it was “competition” for incumbent punter Ben Graham as to why the Cards signed veteran Dave Zastudil. Punting, Whisenhunt said, was one of many areas that needed to be improved from 2010. In 2009, Graham was fantastic, but the team played to his strengths — the offense gained so many yards they were often near or beyond the 50, able to let Graham pin teams deep. When the offense struggles and Graham is forced to kick deep, he can drive it long, but the hang time allows for bigger returns.

– Kolb avoided a high-speed accident Tuesday night — he swerved on his Segway so he didn’t hit a skunk. That would have been a disaster. Whisenhunt said he’s dodged a few skunks in camp himself.

– Someone asked Kolb if he would get butterflies before his first home game. He said he gets butterflies before practice. “I take this game serious,” he said, and it was hard not to flash back to the Cardinals quarterback of last season. “I get amped up and ready to go, practice, preseason whatever it is,” Kolb added.

– Kolb said he was going to play into the third quarter. Whisenhunt would not commit to that, but did say it was a possibility. Playing into the third would allow Kolb to come out and play after halftime, which is always good for the starter to go through. Kolb joked that that was a big reason to look forward to this game, learning stuff like that. He doesn’t even know where the stadium is yet.

– S Adrian Wilson will not be pushed to come back. If anything, the Cards will be conservative with him. But it was good to get him back on the field, Whisenhunt said. “The common phrase for defensive players is ‘Getting their eyes right,’ ” Whiz said. “Getting in there with the speed of the game and in the right position. You can stand back and watch, but it is different when things are full-speed and you’re the one on the hook.”

– Tight end Stephen Spach (calf) and quarterback John Skelton (ankle) are making “good progress.” What that means practice-wise or game-wise is TBD.


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Cards waive Hall, add Croyle and veteran punter

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2011 – 8:41 am

The debate over whether Max Hall could make it back to the Cardinals’ roster is over for this year. After suffering a subluxed left shoulder in practice Monday, Hall was waived-injured Wednesday. If Hall clears waivers, he ends up on injured reserve.

The Cardinals did end up signing veteran quarterback Brodie Croyle to fill the third quarterback spot, with John Skelton still sidelined with a right ankle sprain. They also signed veteran punter Dave Zastudil to battle Ben Graham. The other move to make roster room was to release undrafted rookie free agent tackle Jake Vermiglio.

Zastudil kicked for the Ravens and Browns from 2002-2009, missing all of last season with — coincidentally, given the events with running back Ryan Williams — a torn patella tendon in his plant leg. Zastudil has averaged 42.7 yards a punt in his career.

As for Croyle, I wouldn’t expect him to be able to beat out Rich Bartel or Skelton. He’ll be around for the balance of camp. Maybe he can show something in the final two weeks, but it will be difficult.


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With QBs hurting, Cards going after help UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on August 23, 2011 – 11:07 am

Quarterback John Skelton sprained his ankle in the Green Bay game and missed practice yesterday, while Max Hall had to come out after getting tripped up on a scramble and landing on his left shoulder. Down to two healthy QBs in Kevin Kolb and Rich Bartel, it’s no surprise to see Kent Somers’ Tweet that the Cards will sign former Chiefs QB Brodie Croyle.

– UPDATE: Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hall has a subluxed left shoulder, the same injury — and same shoulder — that sidelined Hall at the end of last season. It’s a type of slight dislocation. The Cards will have to get someone, but they are “exploring options.” Whisenhunt said he couldn’t say if the replacement would be Croyle. The good news is that if the shoulder problem is chronic — and again, it’s the same shoulder as last year — Hall may only need a few days to recover depending on the pain tolerance. Whiz said Hall will  be further evaluated to find out his return timetable. Skelton looks like he has a high-ankle sprain, so it seems like it will be tough for him to play Saturday.

Wide receiver Early Doucet, by the way, is the emergency quarterback.

At this point, nothing is official. I don’t know what the extent of Hall’s injury is right now. But for those asking, I’d still expect Bartel and Skelton to back up Kolb this season, unless Croyle — or whomever the Cards might sign — is fantastic. The other two guys have been in the system, a new quarterback is playing heavy catch-up, and the only reason he would be here is because of injuries and not because they were looking to add a QB. Croyle could be an option because he played in Todd Haley’s system, which is similar to Whisenhunt’s, for obvious reasons.

Croyle has played in 18 games over five NFL seasons, throwing eight touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He was 8-for-19 for 38 yards in two appearances for the Chiefs last season.


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