As expected, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is active today for the Cardinals after suffering a concussion last week in Tennessee. That’s important, as is tight end Rob Housler (groin) as the Cards need all their weapons. Another interesting twist on today’s inactive list: Quarterback Ryan Lindley is active, meaning all three QBs are up. That is a nod to the gimpy left ankle of Carson Palmer, not that he won’t or can’t play, but more that if he is hit the wrong way and sent out, the Cards would want to make sure they still have two healthy quarterbacks once Drew Stanton was put in the game.
Safety Rashad Johnson (ankle) is indeed inactive, meaning rookie Tony Jefferson is starting. With Lindley up, the “new” inactive is offensive lineman Nate Potter.
The full inactive list is:
– S Rashad Johnson (ankle)
– RB Ryan Williams
– G Earl Watford
– DE Ronald Talley
– LB Dontay Moch
– T Nate Potter
– TE Kory Sperry
Tags: Carson Palmer, inactives, Larry Fitzgerald, Rob Housler, Ryan Lindley, Seahawks
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Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, dealing with his hamstring problem, is not surprisingly active for the game against the Lions today. How much he is able to do will be the question played out on the field. Newly promoted wide receiver Kerry Taylor is also active. The inactive list actually is the same as the opener, except QB Ryan Lindley is inactive instead of the recently released CB Jamell Fleming. That also means running back Ryan Williams will sit again.
The rest of the inactive list besides Lindley and Williams:
– TE Rob Housler (ankle)
– LB Alex Okafor
– DT Alameda Ta’amu
– T Bobby Massie
– G Earl Watford
Tags: inactives, Larry Fitzgerald, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, Cardinals, NFL, Ryan Lindley
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The other day, Bruce Arians was saying he was hoping Jonathan Cooper could come back this season. He didn’t want his first-round draft pick to be a rookie again next season. Turns out, that won’t be the case. The guard was put on the season-ending version of injured reserve Friday. Each team gets just one spot for the IR-to-return list each season, and Arians said the Cards felt it was smarter to hold it open than save it for the possibility of Cooper.
But either way, Cooper was going to be out the majority of the season. And as for the cuts Friday — the Cards still have seven moves to make, because linebacker Daryl Washington won’t count toward the 53 during his suspension — there were a couple of minor surprises. Defensive lineman David Carter was one, but he lost out in a battle with Ronald Talley. As I had noted a couple of times, Arians had turned up the compliments on Talley and his being “country strong.” It was tough not to notice. And indeed, when asked today about Carter, Arians said the strength was the difference.
“Talley’s strength at the point of attack and ability to play nose was better,” Arians said. “David has a lot of hustle, a lot of effort, but was struggling to hold the point.”
– The Cardinals still have seven defensive lineman, and there have been reports they are looking to find a nose tackle still. If that’s true, rookie Padric Scott still could be released and put on practice squad, for instance.
– Safety Tony Jefferson has been doing well in both games and practices, and the release of Jonathon Amaya probably means he’s going to stay, although Arians said Jefferson is “not through the woods yet.”
– Arians said he was “not totally, 90 percent sure” of the decision he is going to make on QB Ryan Lindley. I’ve said all along I thought he would stay, so I’m not going to change now. We’ll see.
– I found it interesting, after a training camp of talking about how inconsistent the young receivers are, Arians called both Jaron Brown and Kerry Taylor consistent. If there is a pecking order, I’d still put Brown over Taylor, and we will see what happens on the waiver wire.
– No word on Jeff King, but having knee surgery again certainly seems like King could be an IR candidate. If that came to pass, then the Cards only have six cuts to make.
– No draft picks cut yet, and with Rachal being cut it means Earl Watford is your top backup guard.
– The roster is built as of now like this: 7 DL, 11 LB, 7 CB, 4 S, 3 specialists, 11 OL, 5 TE, 5 RB, 5 WR, 3 QB. Obviously, a couple of positions seem out of balance — DL, LB, CB, OL for sure — and are places to look for the rest of the cuts. Which, according to Arians, should be done by noon Saturday.
And then we wait to see if/when/who the Cards pick up from other teams.
UPDATE: Later Friday, linebacker Reggie Walker tweeted out what sounds like his goodbye after being cut (nothing official yet):
— Reggie Walker (@Rwalk56) August 30, 2013
Tags: Bruce Arians, cuts, David Carter, Earl Watford, Jaron Brown, Jeff King, Jonathan Cooper, Kerry Taylor, Padric Scott, Reggie Walker, Ronald Talley, Roster, Ryan Lindley, Tony Jefferson
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Tony Jefferson still had his uniform on, his shoulder pads pushing out his grass-stained jersey. After his last showing of the preseason, getting five tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a special teams tackle while battling for a roster spot, he was left to … do nothing.
“I’m just going to leave that up to the coaches, whether I am a fit for the team or not,” the undrafted rookie safety said, noting he would be going back to watch his former University of Oklahoma teammates in their opener this weekend.
“I’m going to try and keep my mind off it,” Jefferson said. “Just wait. It’s a waiting game. Just like draft day.”
The wait won’t take long (which is why this aftermath is going to be pretty short and sweet.) Steve Keim said the initial 53-man roster will be set by noon Friday, and Bruce Arians will make it public at 1 p.m. No reason to overly analyze Thursday night, which will be old news soon enough.
Some thoughts on what is coming, in light on what happened in Denver with context through my initial 53-man guess:
– Obviously strong games for QB Ryan Lindley and RB Ryan Williams. Enough to be on the 53? It would make sense, yet you could easily see a scenario where they wouldn’t be. Williams, I suppose, still could be traded, although I don’t see him being simply released. Personally I’d like Williams to stay, but we’ll see. “We’re not cutting good football players,” Bruce Arians said. (Although he didn’t say he wouldn’t trade them.)
– Teams don’t have to be to 53 until Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. So they might still keep 54 or 55 tomorrow if a deal is percolating.
– Lindley is “light years” ahead of where he was, Arians said. “Early on he had trouble processing as the play was happening. Now he has a quarterback rating of (104) and that was with guys busting routes on him. I thought he played extremely well. He was very comfortable out there.”
– All that said, Arians still wouldn’t say if Lindley had made the team for sure yet.
– Speaking of trades, will a defensive back be dealt? I’ve said since the offseason I wouldn’t be surprised in a deal like the A.J. Jefferson trade of 2012.
– I thought rookie wideout Jaron Brown was already on this team. I feel even more confident in that now.
– Beyond Brown? Mike Thomas did catch a touchdown late but he probably should have caught a bomb from Lindley earlier. It would have been a tough catch but it was makeable – and it was the kind of catch that helps you make rosters. Kerry Taylor had a quiet night.
– Arians said TE Jeff King is headed for knee surgery. Not sure if that’s significant enough for injured reserve or not. With Rob Housler still trying to come back from an ankle issue, I’m thinking King won’t be on the roster.
– To my untrained eye, I think Jefferson flashed enough to make them want to keep him. Would it be in lieu of Jonathon Amaya? Other than Jefferson, I didn’t really think any of the defensive backs battling for the roster played particularly well Thursday.
– The lone injury was a shoulder problem for defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, unfortunate for a guy trying to make the roster. Ronald Talley, the man Arians has been talking up, seemed to make a couple plays. Wondering what that might mean for David Carter, who is on the bubble. Arians said he’d need to see the tape to really give decent analysis on the defensive line play in the game.
– In the locker room, Larry Fitzgerald pointed out the Cardinals logo rookie seventh-round tight end D.C. Jefferson has tattooed on his abdomen. Now that’s confidence in your ability to make the roster.
– I thought before the entire draft class still here (Ryan Swope already having retired of course) makes the 53. I haven’t changed my mind on that.
We’ll see. We’ll know in a little more than 12 hours.
Tags: Broncos, Bruce Arians, D.C. Jefferson, David Carter, Jaron Brown, Jeff King, Jonathon Amaya, Kerry Taylor, Mike Thomas, Ricky Lumpkin, Ronald Talley, Roster, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams, Tony Jefferson
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After the Cardinals wrapped up their final practice before the Thursday preseason finale today, Bruce Arians talked about the importance of the game for the “Ryans” — QB Lindley and RB Williams. For Ryan Williams, we all know what that he needs to show where he is physically (although Arians said he was back at full speed.) For Lindley, it’s a little different. He’s been there, been playing. But Arians made it clear early in camp he might just keep two quarterbacks, and Palmer + Stanton = No Lindley.
Lindley’s Denver outing is about “making himself more valuable than the other four, five guys at the end of the roster,” Arians said.
Lindley is going to play a lot in Denver (and Palmer might not play at all.) Thus far, the second-year QB has completed 10-of-17 passes for 156 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason. His 89.3 QB rating is actually best on the team. The decision is about “the other four, five guys at the end of the roster” and how Lindley stacks up. Is it worth keeping an extra linebacker over a third QB? An extra offensive lineman?
Arians has been on many teams with just two QBs. Here’s why I think they stick with Lindley: Because the alternative is dangerous. If they release Lindley, who isn’t practice squad eligible, they would likely need to find a practice-squad QB just in case, a guy who would have to play catch-up. Seems like it makes sense to keep Lindley for now.
– RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and TE Rob Housler (ankle) didn’t practice today. But most of the banged-up players were out there, like WR Andre Roberts, DT Dan Williams, OLB Matt Shaughnessy and TE D.C. Jefferson. That’s a good sign heading toward the opener.
– Arians said there are still a handful of roster spots he considers still up for grabs, including wide receiver, safety, cornerback, tight end and even offensive line.
– The Cards practiced in their new bubble in Tempe today for only the second time:
Tags: bubble, Rashard Mendenhall, Rob Housler, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams
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The Cardinals are getting healthier, although the main subject for Bruce Arians once again as his team starts a new week was the status of running back Ryan WIlliams. It’s only Monday, but already Arians said Williams “probably” will not play against the Chargers Saturday because of the knee. Answers are few and far between, but Arians was asked about Williams anyway.
About evaluating WIlliams, Arians said, “He needs to start playing. Can’t evaluate him unless you play.” Arians isn’t sure yet what it means for Williams’ chances at a roster spot, and there is still an opportunity for Williams to “play a bunch” against Denver in the preseason finale. That would mean Williams would actually have to come back first though.
“You can’t get these reps back,” Arians said. “He had an excellent OTAs, started with an excellent camp, running and cutting. Then just put the brakes on. You can’t get this back.” Asked if he thought it was more mental than physical with Williams, Arians said “I can’t answer that. He’s the only one who can answer that.”
UPDATE: Williams said it’s still the irritation under the “fatty pad” in his knee causing him sharp pain. He said he doesn’t even call it an injury. He also wasn’t willing to say he was nervous about his spot on the roster, mostly because he figures worrying about it wouldn’t help.
“I wouldn’t say nervous about my spot, I just don’t like taking time off,” Williams said. “But things like this happen. There was nothing more I could have done to prevent this from happening. I really not nervous, because I feel when I go out there, I’ll be able to erase the time that I’ve missed.”
Would there be enough time to convince the organization to keep him if he didn’t return until next week? “I don’t know,” Williams said. “We’ll have to see. I’d have to make a lot of big plays to erase the time that I’ve missed. I really don’t worry about things like that, because whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”
Williams added he was “pretty sure” the coaches are frustrated because he is too.
“I wouldn’t doubt that they were,” Williams said. “Can I sense it? No. If they are they are doing a good (job) of hiding it. I’m pretty sure they are, but it’s not to the point where they are mad at me. They are more mad at the situation like I am.”
– The good news is that Arians expects a handful of players to return to practice today. He didn’t name any particulars other than cornerback Javier Arenas, although he said last week he thought LB Karlos Dansby would be back on the field today. Those players may still be limited, but they will have a chance to play Saturday. TE Jeff King (knee) and WR Jarrett Dillard (concussion) remain out, although Arians said he thought King could play against San Diego.
– Backup tackles Nate Potter and Bobby Massie got extended playing time against the Cowboys because they needed extra work, Arians said, and he added he liked they way they played. They will get less work this week as the starters go longer, and while Arians said the depth chart at the position has not changed he still sees a competition not only between Massie/Eric Winston and Potter/Levi Brown but also at right guard between Daryn Colledge and Paul Fanaika.
– Colledge will get some snaps as center this week. Colledge said he has never played center in a game, but with only seven linemen that dress Sundays, having Colledge be proficient at the skill would mean the Cards wouldn’t need a specific backup center active on game days.
– Arians has mentioned a couple of times that Kerry Taylor dropped a touchdown pass against Dallas, as he did with tight end D.C. Jefferson in the first preseason game. In both cases, it looked like the pass from QB Drew Stanton was slightly off-target and would have made a grab difficult. Arians was asked if he ever thought about giving his receivers more slack. “No,” he deadpanned, before a smile crept over his face. “This is the NFL. When you get both hands on the ball, you’ve got to catch it.”
– The play of QB Carson Palmer was “average,” Arians said. “He’d probably say he was terrible,” Arians said. “He knows he can play better.”
– In the department of Ryan Lindley seems to have a good shot to stick, Arians said the third QB has done “extremely well” and his decision-making in games has been good. Lindley will get extensive time in the fourth preseason game, which will be important in his evaluation.
– Arians, asked to assess the camp of kicker Jay Feely, paused before calling it “solid.” But he said he made it clear to Feely missing a 30-yard field goal was unacceptable.
– Colledge, whose fractured leg was revealed last week by General Manager Steve Keim, said he was shaking off the rust. “A lesser man would have quit football,” Colledge quipped. As for the talk of the injury being a nerve problem and not a broken leg, Colledge said “What we tell people and what needs to be said are two different things.”
Tags: Bobby Massie, D.C. Jefferson, Daryn Colledge, Javier Arenas, Jay Feely, Jeff King, Karlos Dansby, Kerry Taylor, Nate Potter, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams
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Bruce Arians talked this summer about why he doesn’t have his players stretch as a team beforehand. He went back to the subject Wednesday, and fits well with an efficiency that he works with through his whole training camp. The idea was introduced to him by Chuck Pagano, and Arians liked it.
“With our time limits now and the constraints we are put under by the CBA, 10 minutes is a lot of time,” Arians said. “That’s a lot of teaching time wasted on stretching. Guys can come early and stretch themselves.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer sees it as a greater indication of the way Arians runs his practices. For Palmer, it’s envelopes not only warmups but practice work and even meetings.
“There’s no nonsense,” Palmer said. “There hasn’t been one time I have been on the practice field and I’m thinking, ‘Why are we doing this?’ … It’s very fast, it’s very efficient. Vets appreciate an efficient practice.
“I’ve played for a long time and I’ve had meetings about meetings (on other teams),” Palmer said, adding, “Our meetings have a purpose. You don’t sit there and say, ‘That could have taken six minutes and it took 25.’ “
As for stretching, Palmer said players have plenty of time to get warmed up.
“There is time for guys to do what they need to do to get functionally ready for practice,” Palmer said. “Once we get on the field, it’s go time. I like that. … You have get yourself prepared to play and if you can’t you shouldn’t be here. That’s the mentality he’s taken, and I love it, because I hate stretching.”
– Another blow to the banged-up running backs. Andre Ellington is having his neck checked out and will undergo the concussion protocol after leaving practice yesterday, although Arians said he is still hopeful Ellington can play in Green Bay. He’s also hopeful Rashard Mendenhall will be able to play a quarter too. That’d be good, or it’s gonna be a ton of work for Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith.
– The players who aren’t playing in Green Bay will not make the trip, Arians said.
– Arians said quarterback Ryan Lindley has made good progress “other than the interceptions.” Of late, there have been plenty of those from the second-year signal-caller.
“There are times when he just doesn’t process it fast enough or he’ll throw it away into double coverage,” Arians said. “Those are the areas the young quarterbacks have to eliminate. He’s got a strong enough arm. It’s a matter of his decisions and processing. He’ll get a lot of exposure in two preseason games.
“Some of the times it’s the guys he’s out there with. They’re not where they are supposed to be. (But) instead of throwing it away he tries to make something happen trying to impress. He’d impress me more throwing it up in the stands rather than throwing it backside into an interception.”
–The Arians walkoff: Talking about bringing in three more players yesterday, he said “we’ll never stop churning the bottom 15. There’s always someone out there that is a diamond in the rough.”
Tags: Andre Ellington, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Ryan Lindley
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The Cardinals have four quarterbacks on the roster right now. It’s possible, Bruce Arians said, they could end up with just two.
Carson Palmer is the unquestioned starter. Drew Stanton is the unquestioned backup. And reality is Ryan Lindley is the third-stringer — Caleb TerBush isn’t really in the mix — unless Arians and the Cardinals go in another direction. Arians has been on teams “for a number of years” that have kept just two quarterbacks on the roster. He’d do it again.
“If it comes down to Ryan and another guy at another position, we’ll determine what’s more valuable to our football team at that time,” Arians said. “We’re going to keep the best 53.”
The Cardinals and Ken Whisenhunt tried it in 2007. That backfired. Matt Leinart broke his collarbone against the Rams five games into the season, and the team signed Tim Rattay to back up backup Kurt Warner. Then Warner had Julius Peppers fall on his left elbow early in the very next game, forcing Rattay on the field with just a couple of practices. Warner managed to play the rest of the season with a brace, but it was an issue that convinced Whisenhunt never to have fewer than three QBs on the roster going forward.
As for other current Cards’ news and notes:
– DT Ricky Lumpkin has a low ankle sprain, another blow to the ailing defensive line. Arians said the Cardinals will sign a defensive lineman or two, which are necessary with Lumpkin, Everrette Thompson and Dan Williams all out right now. ‘We’ll get a couple fresh bodies and coach real hard for two days,” Arians said. “We’ll see how good of a coach Buck (Brentson Bucker) is.”
– LB Daryl Washington missed the walkthrough while attending his latest court date for his assault case. He returned soon after and said nothing yet has been resolved and his next court date is set for October.
– RB Rashard Mendenhall will be back at practice. G Daryn Colledge will not play against the Packers. Arians said most injured guys are questionable. He still has hope that LB Karlos Dansby and WR Kerry Taylor (hamstrings) could play in Green Bay.
– Center Deveric Gallington, tweeted out he was going to sign with the Cardinals. The Cards have been searching to find more center depth. Gallington was an undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech who spent some time this offseason with the Raiders.
– The Cardinals, surprisingly, haven’t had one scuffle — or even had a hint of a scuffle — all through camp. It was suggested to Arians it could be air-condition-related. Arians smiled. “I do all the scuffling,” he said. More seriously, “We have a no fighting policy,” Arians said. “We don’t play the Cardinals. Normally you still have a (fight). I would think (being) outside it would draw more of that heat.”
Tags: Caleb TerBush, Carson Palmer, Dan Williams, Daryl Washington, Deveric Gallington, Drew Stanton, Everrette Thompson, Karlos Dansby, Ken Whisenhunt, Kerry Taylor, Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, Rashard Mendenhall, Ricky Lumpkin, Ryan Lindley
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The first padded practice of training camp made for some interesting stuff to digest:
– It only happened a couple of times, but quarterback Carson Palmer (and backup Drew Stanton, for that matter), ran the read-option in 11-on-11. Both times Palmer ran it — once to each side — he ended up pitching it to wide receiver Andre Roberts. It doesn’t exactly look like Colin Kaepernick and I’m not sure it’s going to make it all the way into an actual game that counts. But it gives the defense something to think about in a season they will certainly see it (from Kaepernick and others) and it gives other teams at least a slight pause when this seemingly crazy notion gets out there.
– Speaking of offensive twists, there was Patrick Peterson (below) quickly throwing on a white tank top over his red defensive jersey (think a practice jersey in basketball) to jump in on offense at a moment’s notice. His first play was a straight go route down the sideline. The Ryan Lindley bomb was broken up by fellow cornerback Javier Arenas. Peterson shook his head about it after.
“I told Ryan, ‘When number 21 is out there, make him run,’ ” Peterson said. “I don’t want to have to try and turn around and have to catch the ball. I have enough speed I’m pretty comfortable, anywhere you throw the ball, I’m going to go get it.”
Unlike the Palmer option, I do expect such plays for Peterson to be in the playbook. I’m sure Patrick won’t mind.
– Don’t expect the same from Tyrann Mathieu though. Mathieu was asked if he too could be an offensive threat. “I’m not an offensive weapon,” he said. “I’m a defensive guy who looks good with the ball in his hands.”
– The injury list got a little longer for the Cardinals Sunday, in part because they are now hitting. WR Robert Gill (hamstring) and TE Alex Gottlieb (hamstring) were already sitting out. LB Daryl Washington (neck spasm) was sitting out for the first time, and then G Daryn Colledge (lower right leg) and RB Ryan Williams (right leg/knee) came out during practice. Williams, who had ice on his right knee for a while, had discarded the ice by the end of practice and was standing watching his teammates, a good sign it probably isn’t serious. TE Jeff King was also sitting out, possibly a nod to taking it easy early in camp after coming off his own knee rehab.
Tags: Alex Gottlieb, Carson Palmer, Colin Kaepernick, Daryl Washington, Daryn Colledge, Javier Arenas, Jeff King, Patrick Peterson, Robert Gill, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams, Tyrann Mathieu
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