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Staying healthy this time of year

Posted by Darren Urban on May 21, 2013 – 10:21 am

There’s never a good time to get injured, especially a serious injury. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Javone Lawson tore his Achilles tendon in a recent workout, and told The Daily Advertiser in Louisiana he will have surgery. That will lead to a roster move at some point. Lawson was a long shot to make the team, obviously, but you never want to see something like this occur. These days, guys usually don’t suffer those kinds of injuries in the offseason. They aren’t on the field much and contact is severely limited. That’s why you cringe when you hear a story like San Diego’s Melvin Ingram at this point of the summer.

You never want any injuries, but somehow there seems to be a sliding scale of how they are received: One suffered in the regular season you can reconcile better than one in the preseason, which is easier to deal with than a training camp practice, which at least happens when work ramps up compared to offseason work.

(And before anyone looks at me crossways for even speaking on the subject, no, I don’t believe in jinxing anything. A blog post about injuries isn’t going to cause anyone harm. Because I know someone was going to take me to task on that.)

I can think of a handful of practice injuries for the Cards over the years I’ve covered the team, but off the top of my head, I don’t recall any in the offseason. Practices in camp and in-season, yes. But nothing season-jeopardizing this time of year. Tight end Jeff King tore his quadriceps in May last offseason, but he was able to return early in training camp. Coaches (and the front office) hold their breath in the offseason for a couple of reasons: One, hoping with so much down time no player gets in off-the-field trouble. And two, hoping that when the guys are on the field or working out in some manner, they don’t get hurt. It’s why any little bump or bruise this time of year is consideration to have a guy stay off to the side and get better. No reason to push it. Not this far away from games.

UPDATE: The Cardinals waived-injured Lawson on Tuesday. They replaced him with UDFA WR Charles Hawkins, a small (5-8) speedster who played for running backs coach Stump Mitchell when Mitchell was coaching at Southern University.


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A chance to mock

Posted by Darren Urban on April 25, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Here it is, the long-awaited-and-yet-not-any-more-likely-to-be-anything-but-mocked mock draft from yours truly. To be clear, I have not sat back and broken down hours of tape nor do I know what’s on anybody’s draft boards, including the Cards. This is about making educated guesses, which as we all know when it comes to the draft usually means little. It doesn’t include any trades, which would/could blow it up quickly (although as I write this comes the rumor the Bills are willing to trade from 10 to 3 to get T Matt Kalil; If I am the Vikings, you better be sure you like a guy at 10. You don’t want to give up a potential stud just for a draft pick.)

In my mock, the Cardinals ended up with tackle Riley Reiff. By the time the Cards picked in my virtual world, the top two receivers (Blackmon and Floyd) are both gone and so is the guy likely considered the best potential 3-4 pass-rusher (Melvin Ingram.) I have guard David DeCastro falling all the way into the 20s.I feel confident I have hit on my slots for Luck and Griffin, however.

The best part of my mock? That it is done, which means we are about 24 hours away from the real draft and no longer have to speculate and instead actually see actual draft picks being made.


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Bits and pieces on a slow day

Posted by Darren Urban on March 29, 2012 – 7:00 pm

Not a whole lot going on right now, and I expect that to carry through the weekend. I spent part of Thursday talking to Adrian Wilson at a charity event at University of Phoenix Stadium. I’ll have more in a story tomorrow, but Wilson gave a speech to a few hundred employees of Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart kicking off a fundraising drive and, in the middle of his talk, surprised everyone by offering up a $100,000 donation of his own to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Following up on the salaries tackle Levi Brown received on his new contract, Kent Somers found out the rest of the numbers for Brown, including the signing bonus ($7 million) and the all-important salary cap figures ($2.65M in 2012, $6.4M in 2013). Not a huge surprise, given the circumstances, which included Brown being one of the more attractive available tackles on the market (OK, I know what you want to say, but it’s reality.)

– Todd McShay’s newest mock draft (Insider needed) has the Cards taking — with Martin and DeCastro on the board still at No. 13 — pass-rusher Melvin Ingram of South Carolina. Wouldn’t surprise me. As I have said, I think they need more at pass rusher, and if they deemed Ingram a difference-maker, you don’t want to reach for an offensive tackle just to fill a need. That’s when you get in trouble. That said, draft meetings still haven’t started, there is no draft board, and as anyone can see when looking over the mocks out there, 13 is the no-man’s land. Up until pick 5 or 6 or 7, you can probably narrow down the names. After that, though, all bets are off and there are always surprises. It’s so hard to know what will be available when the Cards pick.


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