Nkemdiche still has much work to do

Posted by Darren Urban on September 19, 2016 – 2:59 pm

Rookie Robert Nkemdiche was injured late last week in practice, tweaking the same ankle that kept him out of a good chunk of training camp. The hope is that he’ll be able to work again in practice this week, but even if he does, coach Bruce Arians didn’t sound like someone who would automatically just drop the team’s No. 1 pick back into the defensive line rotation.

“Those other guys are playing pretty damn good,” Arians said Monday.

Yes, the ankle was a problem when he hurt it Friday. But Arians noted that “it wasn’t the best week of practice for him” anyway.

“There’s too much competition in that (defensive line) room to have a bad day and dress out and play on Sunday,” Arians said.

The hope is still that Nkemdiche will find a rhythm and make an impact on the rotation. Who knows, it may be as soon as this weekend in Buffalo. But it’s becoming clear that Arians is going to keep the pedal pressed in pushing the big defensive lineman. And as the Cardinals and Arians proved last year with No. 1 draft pick D.J. Humphries, they are not shy of keeping even a top draft pick from active duty on game days if it makes better sense to use someone else. There’s little question Nkemdiche is going to have to earn his time, regardless of his ankle woes.


Posted in Blog | 34 Comments »

34 Responses to “Nkemdiche still has much work to do”

  1. By Scott H on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Hey, welcome to the NFL, kid. Being a first round pick doesn’t get you anything – you gotta work for and earn it.

    But Nkemdiche isn’t the only one with a lot of work to do. So does our pass rush. Was counting on him to be part of the solution. Hoping to see it come along by mid-season or so.

  2. By texascard on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Does Arians realize he ran a fast forty??!?!

  3. By Genken on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    How bad do you want it? Nkemdiche has to make the decision.

  4. By Joe on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Speaking of injuries,Lamar Louis was injured and subsequently waived.Nobody claimed him,does it mean he will be placed in IR?

  5. By Darren Urban on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Louis

    I’d expect Louis to end up with an injury settlement.

  6. By cobra on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    texas card, yeah, ran a really fast forty to the bench.

  7. By cobra on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    texascard, yeah, he ran a fast forty to the bench.

  8. By Cards Fan on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    What is with that big NFL banner across my page that keeps me from reading people’s comments? How can I get rid of it?

  9. By steve on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: Are you doing a chat tomorrow?

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Chat

    Yes. At 1 p.m.

  11. By georgiebird on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    RN is the type player the Cards need. But just putting the “90” uniform on him isn’t going to conjure up visions of DD.
    Thought he was a sure shot if he could get past the baggage. Guess there’s more baggage then thought.
    Hope he gets right in time to be be a contributor.

  12. By georgiebird on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    A second coming of Alan Branch. The Cards could never get him going except for a glimpse here and there. Branch finally became a player and has lasted a long time- even Belichick likes him.
    Hope Robert Nkemdiche wakes up soon.

  13. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Nkemdiche should wear number zero instead of 90, as so far he is a non factor. Dockett was a beast, until Nkemdiche becomes A LOT better, number zero or double zero fits him fine. He doesn’t deserve to wear Dockett’s old number…..
    Yea… I now he has had ankle issues….

  14. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    Darren- Exactly how does the injury settlement deal work…???

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Injury settlement

    A player who is hurt (and his agent) negotiate with the team how long he would’ve missed with the injury and he is paid for that many weeks. He is then released to be a free agent, rather than staying on IR. It allows the team not to pay a full year for an injured guy who wouldn’t be out the full year; it allows the player to find a new team ASAP.

  16. By rod on Sep 19, 2016 | Reply

    We always have some issue with our first round picks except for Diane Buchanan and we traded into round two to get him if memory serves.

  17. By tcstearns on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Frosty was also out last game but there were some good pressures. Hopefully the pass rush will only get stronger as the season goes on.

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply


    Diane Bucannon???

    In 2014, The Cards traded out of the 20th spot with the Saints. The Saints came up and picked Brandin Cooks. The Cards dropped to the 27th spot and chose Safety Deone Bucannon. In exchange, they received the 91st pick and used it on John Brown.

    By trading down to the 27th spot, the cards passed on WR Brandin Cooks, S Ha Ha Clinton Dix, OLB Dee Ford, CBs Jason Verrett and Darqueze Dennard, and of course the great Johnny Manzel.

  19. By clssylssy on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    It seems BA/SK love to take on “projects” rather than trying to reach for the top shelf hot commodities, and we go through this “adjustment period” year after year. I like RN, and see the potential but feel he has been set up in a way that fans expect a top shelf commodity based on the fact that he was a No.1 pick. The NFL is a different world from even the SEC and RN’s development (or lack there of) is on the coaching staff as much as the player. This is only the third game already and the pressure of that first game on even some of our best players was enough to make them all look like newbies.
    Once we get rolling and find our grove, I think RN will start picking it up and mature as a player. I remember that it took our team halfway through the season to learn the playbook when Arians first got here, we’ve had two versions of the defensive section which it regarded as one of the most complicated in the NFL with all it’s subpackages etc.
    It’s premature to give up on RN because of two games when some of our other players were making rookie mistakes too. The Cards have a history of dumping players only to see them go on to have great careers based on what they got from us.
    It’s never fair to compare players to fan favorites from the past (kinda like comparing kids) and rather than dumping on the rookies, perhaps the blame belongs on the people who are doing the drafting, and the DC.

  20. By TLT on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Nke will be fine. Knee Deep got it, this stud will too. His interviews are exemplary, he’s a solid guy and he wants it. Both Nke and Knee Deep we got very late 1st bc of perceived issues; they vetted these guys. Both will be very good, imo. Knee Deep already getting it done. And we don’t need to push Nke’s ankle, 9 deep DL.

    Good interview this am Lorenzo Alexander (plays for Bills) on 98.7 with Wolfley.

  21. By Joseph on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    How about Not laying “Blame” on anyone just yet. Player injuries happen and must get healed to be effective.

  22. By Scott H on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Too soon to be frustrated with RN at this point. The ankle injury was unfortunate and seems to have de-railed him a bit. But I remember that when he first took the field during OTA’s and mini-camp, Arians was telling him to stop killing our players, so….my hope is that we will start to see it once his ankle is less of an issue.

    The frustration I DO get is from the fact that here we are, waiting for another first round pick to get on the field and start having an impact. We had Jonathan Cooper….we had Humphries last year….now we have RN. AND in the early going of a season where SB hopes are high.

  23. By LongtimeCardsfan on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Hi Darren –
    Cards are officially credited with 5 sacks. Do you know who has the 1 solo sack?

  24. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Longtime —

    RE: Sacks

    In two games:

    Chandler Jones 2
    Markus Golden 2
    Team – 1 (Given on the Winston fumble).

  25. By John faile on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    The lack of pressure is something definitely missing so far, but unlike last year, I think it will get better the more the newer players are on the field. It does concern me, however, a little about Nkemdiche. Some of the knock on him coming in was the fact that he isn’t motivated enough, and becomes the invisible man. I know that’s something BA doesn’t tolerate, and just hope he comes to realize that if he doesn’t show a little more desire and intensity, he’ll be on the bench instead of on the field.

  26. By Dr. G. on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Thoughts from the locker room- –

    “”I got $7Mil guaranteed. What’s the big rush? My main man BA.””
    Be cool fans…The Diche!

  27. By Kurt zimmerman on Sep 20, 2016 | Reply

    Maybe if number 90 lost 20 pounds and put back some of the muscle mass he has lost he would be a pro. Now let’s just call him Twinkie.

  28. By John S. on Sep 21, 2016 | Reply

    I still say the Cards should have made room on the roster somehow for Freeny again this season. A few more times of him getting in there on the QB would probably help fire up Nkemdiche and Jones.. et all. I’m just less than impressed so far, especially with a D-line that was supposed to now be crazy “scary” on the pass rushing/sacks with the addition of these guys.
    Give the so-called old man Freeny a call, bet it would help turn things around in that area, create a spark, and more time for his experience to rub off in practice, etc. Besides, he was exciting to watch play to boot…

  29. By rod on Sep 21, 2016 | Reply


    Diane was obviously a autocorrect on my phone. And like I said other than that draft our first rounds haven’t panned out much. Well see about DJ.

  30. By rod on Sep 21, 2016 | Reply

    The bottom line about the first round pick issues we’ve been having are true. Your first round pick needs to start and contribute that first year. The only player to do that is Deone Buchanan. And as for getting John Brown in that trade down..i think he’s in a major decline.

  31. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 21, 2016 | Reply

    Sucks for Louis. Outside shot at making the team (undrafted), busted his butt in camp, and now injured and waived? Do we know anything about the injury?

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