The Cardinals made a somewhat surprising move today by cutting recently signed running back Michael Bush. The Cards were going to have to create a roster spot for linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, who is coming off IR/designated to return. But the Cards also decided to promote running back Kerwynn Williams back to the active roster from the practice squad, so cutting Bush and new tight end Matthew Mulligan were the moves made.
Bruce Arians had been hesitant to say if Bush was playing this week, and this probably is the reason why. Stepfan Taylor is getting the start at running back in place of the injured Andre Ellington, who heads up a long list of injured players. This doesn’t necessarily eliminate Bush from coming back — it’s possible he’s just not up to speed yet, not like Williams, who knows the offense, and this is a game-to-game thing — although it’s also possible the Bush experiment simply didn’t work out.
Arians said the running backs will be worked in as the game dictates. I’d anticipate Marion Grice getting a chunk of work even with Taylor starting. We’ll see if the Cardinals can make headway running the ball against what has been a bad Chiefs’ run defense.
“The runs that are working pretty good are the ones downhill,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “We have to be better at the ones that go sideways, as far as zone plays.”
Ellington (hip), starting right guard Paul Fanaika (ankle), defensive tackle Ed Stinson (toe) and safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb surgery) are all listed as out.
Arians also said wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has been making progress but who is still not 100 percent, is going to be a game-day decision again — so no lock Fitz plays. Fitzgerald did practice fully Friday for the first time since his knee injury, however.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Ed Stinson, Harold Goodwin, Kerwynn Williams, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Shaughnessy, Matthew Mulligan, Michael Bush, Paul Fanaika, Tyrann Mathieu
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Bruce Arians’ hope that rookie tight end Troy Niklas’ badly sprained ankle wouldn’t be season-ending was short-lived. The Cardinals put Niklas on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his first campaign. In his place, the team signed veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan, who had played two games with Chicago earlier this year and has played for the Patriots, Rams and Jets. Mulligan has 16 career receptions in 67 games. At 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds, he figures to be a blocker first, as was Niklas.
It’s a rough way for Niklas’ rough rookie season to end. He missed most of the offseason work with a broken finger. He was still dealing with that during training camp, and the ankle sprain — which first occurred earlier this season — meant he missed more games that he played. He was just starting to find his role and now he’s done. The most memorable part of the season about Niklas for me was how teammate John Carlson described him: ““He looks like a 12-year-old boy who swallowed a grizzly bear.”
Tags: Matthew Mulligan, Troy Niklas
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