If there was any doubt how Bruce Arians was approaching this season and the Cardinals’ place in the NFC West — and via the moves they have made with Carson Palmer and Karlos Dansby and John Abraham and Eric Winston, et al, there shouldn’t have been — he made it clear Thursday. He reiterated the physical nature of the division and how the Cards were going to have to be prepared for it.
But he also said “I don’t see the dominance that everybody else talks about. One of those teams may be (dominant.) It still has to be played on Sunday.”
We will see how it does play out on Sundays, but the NFC West will be entertaining, for sure.
— Arians ruled out DE Frostee Rucker (toe sprain) and S Rashad Johnson (knee/ankle) from playing Saturday. He also said most of the other injured guys are in the same place. Since G Daryn Colledge has been practicing, I would guess he will be in the lineup.
— RB Andre Elllington is “ready to go” and will play. “It’s much nicer going in with four (running backs) than two,” Arians said with a smile. Of course, there is still no word on an ETA on RB Ryan Williams, the fifth back who remains out with knee problems. I don’t expect him to practice again today and definitely don’t see him playing against the Cowboys. No, that’s not good for him and you have to start to wonder about what his place on this roster might be — or even if he will have one.
— CB Javier Arenas hurt his finger in practice Tuesday. Not sure if it will affect practice time or whether he can play Saturday. UPDATE: Arenas isn’t practicing Thursday.
— LB Karlos Dansby (hamstring) remains out and won’t play either. But Arians didn’t sound concerned at all. “He doesn’t need much tune up,” Arians said. “He knows how to play the game. He just needs some full-speed game action, We’ll get him a couple of quarters against San Diego (next week) and he’ll be fine.”
— DE Calais Campbell continued to sound excited about what the defense will allow he and the other defensive linemen to do in Todd Bowles’ scheme. Ultimately, he said, the defense sets up guys in one-on-one positions and they are told may the best defender win and make the play. Campbell also said the Cards will definitely feature more four-down linemen sets than last season, and he raved about newcomer Matt Shaughnessy and the pass-rush front of Shaughnessy, John Abraham, himself and Darnell Dockett. “That’ll be tough to block,” Campbell said.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Bruce Arians, Calais Campbell, Daryn Colledge, Frostee Rucker, Javier Arenas, Karlos Dansby, Matt Shaughnessy
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