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Beanie officially activated, Westerman cut

Posted by Darren Urban on November 21, 2012 – 9:17 am

Since coach Ken Whisenhunt basically announced it Monday, it’s no surprise that running back Beanie Wells was activated to the roster this morning from the injured reserve-able to return list and he is on schedule to play Sunday against the Rams. Will he start? That’s a big question and I am not sure Whisenhunt will be willing to answer before the game. But certainly, a healthy Wells — and he told me yesterday his knee indeed was not right early in the season before he went down with the toe injury, but now it’s good — will help the Cardinals’ struggling offense.

To make room for Wells on the roster, the Cardinals cut linebacker Jamaal Westerman, not a surprise either after he was surpassed on the depth chart by undrafted rookie Zack Nash. That leaves just one “official” backup outside linebacker, although backup ILB Reggie Walker was playing there some in Atlanta and fellow backup ILB Stewart Bradley can do the same.


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Carter starts for injured Campbell, Heap sits

Posted by Darren Urban on November 18, 2012 – 9:30 am

No surprise, but defensive end Calais Campbell won’t play today with his bad calf. David Carter will get the start instead, and he’ll get a big chance to show his advances at the new position. It’ll also be another missed game for tight end Todd Heap, who is still dealing with a knee injury.

The other inactives:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– WR LaRon Byrd

– LB Jamaal Westerman (meaning undrafted rookie Zack Nash is the only backup outside linebacker behind Sam Acho and Quentin Groves)

– G Senio Kelemete

– T Pat McQuistan

For the Falcons, wide receiver Julio Jones is playing despite missing all week of practice with an ankle sprain. I can’t imagine he’ll be anything but limited today. Starting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who also has an ankle sprain, is sitting.


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Friday before the Falcons

Posted by Darren Urban on November 16, 2012 – 4:49 pm

The bye week is always good – I know I appreciate it, so I can only imagine the players’ delight – but it is tough when you go two weeks between games. The storylines dry up a bit, especially this deep in the season, when there isn’t actual action from which to play off.

At this point, maybe it’s helps to look at it simply. Coach Ken Whisenhunt and the players were asked many times different ways about a midseason/bye assessment the past couple weeks. One Whisenhunt answer summed it up best.

“What is there to say besides it’s not good enough?” he said.

True. The 4-0 start is well in the rear view mirror. I don’t think anyone can argue that the Cardinals winning Sunday in Atlanta would be an upset, but in the NFL, it wouldn’t be some kind of stunning shock either. Everything changes if the Cards were to win. But to have that chance, the Cardinals can’t drop passes, can’t miss tackles, can’t get off to slow starts on offense or defense. They have to be good enough.

– The Cardinals have not, as noted, been tackling very well. It hasn’t been a season-long problem, but it’s been a problem for late. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton wasn’t concerned it will continue to be a problem.

“One of our coaches said today that in practice this week, it reminded us how they practiced for New England,” Horton said. “Very focused, very alert, very sharp. I don’t think tackling will be an issue. They are ready for this game.”

– Whisenhunt was asked if he had even been on a team that started two rookie tackles. “Nope,” Whiz said, allowing himself a chuckle. “I think I would remember that. We have been through some tough situations with the line during my time in the NFL. I don’t think I’ve ever started two rookie tackles.”

Nate Potter and Bobby Massie are a first Sunday.

– Here was quarterback John Skelton’s assessment of Potter’s first playing time in Green Bay. “He had the jitters a little bit, but the first play we asked him to block Clay Matthews and he did a good job,” Skelton said. Skelton just happened to hit Andre Roberts on a 40-yard bomb that play. It’s going to be a learning curve for Potter, but it’s definitely will be interesting to watch.

– I know the Falcons are calling wide receiver Julio Jones a game-day decision, but a sprained ankle is tough for a wide receiver, and from what I have always seen, any guy who doesn’t practice all week tends to be not much of a factor on Sunday even if the player does play.

– Calais Campbell could play Sunday, I suppose, but I don’t expect it. It’s like Darnell Dockett being banged up earlier in the year – you’d rather have a player miss one game rather than risk a longer-term problem. If Campbell sits, it looks like David Carter will get a shot at a lot of playing time. It’s easy to forget how well Carter played at times as a rookie. He’s definitely a player the Cards can develop and if he can play both end and tackle, even better.

– I know a lot of people keep asking. I don’t know what to expect from tight end Todd Heap. He was limited all week and questionable. I’d guess he’s one of the ones that will work out before the game, and the Cards will go from there. I have zero idea if this is the week he plays.

– Ralphie is an Arizona Cardinals’ fan. Who knew?

– This will be the first start for Quentin Groves at linebacker, following the season-ending injury to O’Brien Schofield. That shouldn’t be a huge deal; Groves, after all, has been a starter in Oakland and Jacksonville. But it also means the Cards’ depth behind Groves and Sam Acho falls on a pair of first-year Cards: Jamaal Westerman and undrafted rookie Zack Nash. Westerman has experience, but he was also the one left inactive on game in favor of Nash, which could say something about both of them. If Acho or Groves get nicked, how the backups respond will be important.

“They don’t have much choice.” Whisenhunt said. “This league, you have to play and be successful when you aren’t getting all the (practice) reps.”

– A quick heads-up: “Season In Focus” will air Saturday morning at 7 a.m. on ABC-15. There will be a recap of the first half of the season, a “Wired” segment with linebacker Daryl Washington and a “Zoom” episode featuring a Cardinals cheerleader who happens to be a veteran of the war in Iraq. Then on “Flightplan” – airing Saturday at midnight on NBC Ch. 12 right after “Saturday Night Live,” Whisenhunt and Ron Wolfley break down video of the Roberts’ bomb and Potter’s overall work in his first game.

The second half of the season is upon us.


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Heap, Toler remain out, Nelson playing for Packers

Posted by Darren Urban on November 4, 2012 – 9:36 am

The Cardinals’ inactive list is out for today’s game, with tight end Todd Heap still out with his bad knee. On the flip side, Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, who didn’t practice all week because of a bad hamstring, is active today and listed as a starter. The Cardinals are also still without cornerback Greg Toler (hamstring).

Guard Adam Snyder (quad) remains out, no surprise, so Rich Ohrnberger will start at right guard. The rest of the Cardinals’ inactives:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– LB Jamaal Westerman

– G Senio Kelemete

– WR LaRon Byrd


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New starting OL with Snyder out; Heap still down

Posted by Darren Urban on October 29, 2012 – 4:10 pm

The Cardinals will have a change in the starting offensive line for the first time this season, with right guard Adam Snyder sitting out with his quad injury, sending Rich Orhnberger into the lineup against the 49ers on “Monday Night Football.” Ohrnberger did a decent job in relief of Snyder in Minnesota after Snyder got hurt.

Tight end Todd Heap (knee) also remains sidelined for a sixth straight game.

The rest of the inactive list for the Cardinals is:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– CB Greg Toler (hamstring)

– WR LaRon Byrd

– LB Jamaal Westerman

– G Senio Kelemete

And in case you missed it, the roof will be open tonight as well at University of Phoenix Stadium, the first time this season.


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Tackle signed, practice squad named

Posted by Darren Urban on September 3, 2012 – 9:52 am

The Cardinals officially announced all the moves swirling around over the weekend. Veteran free agent offensive tackle Pat McQuistan was signed to a one-year deal and reserve lineman Jeremy Bridges (thumb) was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The team brought aboard outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman via waivers. And the practice squad is filled like this:

– LB Colin Parker

– CB Larry Parker

– DT Ricky Lumpkin

– TE Steve Skelton

– OLB Ricky Elmore

– T Steven Baker

– WR Gerell Robinson

– WR Isaiah Williams


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Haggans to Niners, and other comings and goings

Posted by Darren Urban on September 2, 2012 – 9:54 am

I don’t expect any official word about who the Cards are adding to the roster until tomorrow — including practice squad — but because of the wonderful world of social media and the internet, news has leaked out about a handful of people.

– It came out yesterday that the Cards had claimed outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman on waivers after the Dolphins had released him. Westerman, 6-3 and 255 pounds, spent the first three years of his career with the Jets, and playing all 16 games last season he had 3.5 sacks. He signed with the Dolphins in March and was recently released. The Cards needed a linebacker, because they had only three outside linebackers on the roster after cutting Clark Haggans and Brandon Williams.

– The 49ers also claimed Westerman. When they didn’t get him, they are going to sign Haggans to fill their need for a reserve linebacker. That’s an interesting turn of events.

– There still isn’t any official word on the practice squad, but because of the Twitterverse, there have been a handful of names floating out there that are supposedly going to be on the Cards’ PS (which could begin to be put together yesterday). Included are former Arizona State receiver Gerell Robinson (cut by Denver), recently released defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin and linebacker Colin Parker, and offensive tackle Steven Baker, a 6-8, 310-pounder cut by the Colts. UPDATE: As AndyStandsUp pointed out in the comments, there was also a report that former University of Arizona outside linebacker Ricky Elmore will sign to the Cards’ practice squad.

UPDATE II: Tight end Steve Skelton is practice squad-bound too.

– Quarterback Rich Bartel, who had been placed on injured reserve with a bad shoulder, tweeted out he was throwing well, had passed a physical, and was actually going to be released.


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