After practice: Nkemdiche limps off

Posted by Darren Urban on August 22, 2017 – 5:24 pm

Bruce Arians was talking at lunchtime about how healthy the Cardinals were getting. Then defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche limped off to the locker room, accompanied by a trainer. Looked like his left ankle or leg was bothering him. No way to know what it is — your first thought is that it isn’t serious, but we’ll talk to Arians tomorrow — yet with the very good preseason/camp Nkemdiche has been having, it’s certainly an undesirable situation.

— QB Carson Palmer took a rest day. So too did LB Karlos Dansby, who finally came back to practice Monday. I’m sure they are just being careful with Dansby, but it’s been a while since he’s had a couple practices in a row.

— With Dansby not out there, Josh Bynes was taking first-team reps at inside linebacker with Haason Reddick in Bynes’ first practice following a hamstring issue. It sure looks like Bynes has a roster spot, unless he collapses the rest of the preseason.

— RB Kerwynn Williams was also sitting out practice. Not sure his aliment. Arians did not mention him during his press conference.

— The last two days, Reddick has been taking reps as an OLB/pass rusher during one-on-one drills with the offensive line. (Actually, they have been two-on-two drills as  the OL works on protecting on stunts and twists.) The Cardinals aren’t going to overwhelm Reddick with too many non-ILB things right now, but Arians had said they want to get him a little more exposure to pass rushing.

— Is David Johnson getting to do enough? It’s interesting to watch the running back sprint 30, 40, 50 yards through a play sometimes — occasionally he doesn’t even have the ball — in what looks like an attempt just to get some running in. (Side note: He’s fast. Faster than you think.)

— During “thud” tackling, whoever is covering TE Jermaine Gresham better be ready. Gresham still plows into a defender who chooses to get in front of him.

— During scout team work, rookie QB Trevor Knight had a couple of nice 44-yard bombs to RB James Summers (over LB Chandler Jones) and WR Krishawn Hogan (over S Budda Baker.)

— Mostly though, it was a practice of the defense. Tyrann Mathieu was actually getting irritated late in the work because scout-look QBs were holding the ball so long against the No. 1 D (there would have been multiple sacks). Mathieu would have had one airborne pick before he yanked his arms down at the last second, preventing any kind of in-air contact, and on another play where Knight short-hopped a receiver Mathieu had defended perfectly, Mathieu angrily batted the ball back into the turf. He knows he would’ve had the pick.

— Guys that did get interceptions: CB Patrick Peterson, S Ironhead Gallon, LB Philip Wheeler in his first practice back from injury, and Baker.

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30 Responses to “After practice: Nkemdiche limps off”

  1. By joe holst on Aug 22, 2017 | Reply

    Disgusted to see Jon Jones popped for roids again, this stuff has a way of spreading- it better not make its way into the Cardinal locker room. Chandler has to be disappointed.

  2. By Scott H on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Should we be expecting a rest day for Nkemdiche? Sounds good to me. The kid has obviously been working hard and has looked good. Assuming the leg thing is nothing to worry about – and rest would be required because he’s hurt ( Insert the Charlie Brown AAAARGH! here ) – let the kid have a day off.

    On another topic, as much as the decision to go with Stanton as the back-up doesn’t surprise me, I think it DID surprise me a bit that it was made now. With two more games to go. I mean….if they knew, then they knew. No harm in announcing the decision. But….I’m sure it doesn’t sit well with the folks ( and there sure seemed to be plenty of them ) who wanted Stanton out, Gabbert in.

    I’m sure it will sit even less well if Stanton is not sharp over the rest of the pre-season, and Gabbert continues to play well.

  3. By mitchaz on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Key Roster Decisions/Questions (Offense)


    Locks: Palmer, Stanton.

    * Pretty much everyone expects the Cardinals to keep all 3 QBs.
    * However, if the Cardinals remain so enamored with Drew Stanton as the #2 QB, and yet they believe that Blaine Gabbert would be in the mix to start for a handful of teams, should they should trade Gabbert and get something for him while he commands potential value? This would open up another roster spot, which could help the special teams and perhaps allow the team to carry an extra WR in light of John Brown’s uncertainty.
    * Some say that the Cardinals may try to re-sign Gabbert to be next year’s #2. Well, that’s pure folly, especially when the Cardinals have already indicated that Gabbert would be in the mix to start somewhere else. Gabbert’s agent is going to see to it that he is in the mix to start somewhere in 2018.
    * Or, which I think is the real truth, the Cardinals are fascinated with Gabbert’s potential and want him to learn the playbook inside and out for a chance to be the starter in 2018.


    Locks: David Johnson, K. Williams.

    * My own feeling is that Elijhaa Penny, who is this year’s Stepfan Taylor on STs, will be on the roster. His blocking on the punt team is critical, for one.
    * What that means is that the final roster spot is between Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington. Neither of them figure to be a factor on STs — so which one brings more value? Even though CJ thus far looks a little slower than one would expect, he still could be a workhorse (health permitting) if need be. Ellington is a 3rd down, situational RB. CJ is the better blocker in pass pro and is a far better runner between the tackles.The bottom line is: CJ brings far more to the table.
    * If the coaches are ho-hum about CJ and Ellington, don’t be surprised if we see a waiver wire pickup, especially for a RB who can play STs.


    Locks: Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, Nelson, C. Williams

    * While it’s tough to say this, there have to be discussions amongst the coaches about the status of John Brown. It seems at this point that because he is so injury prone that he will continue to be day-to-day, week-to-week. This is further compounded by his sickle cell anemia, because of how slower than normal Brown is able to recover from injuries. It could be that the coaches decide to place him on the IR, try to help him build his body back to full strength and then make a decision on him in 8 weeks. To quote Langston Hughes, Brown’s 2017 season could initially be a “dream deferred.”
    * Brittan Golden has had a very good camp until his recent injury. The questions are: is he just as valuable a WR as Kevin Ross? Is he a greater asset on STs than Kevin Ross? The answers to those questions, imo are: No and Maybe. Ross is the stronger WR. And while Golden is the better gunner on STs, Ross provides depth as a punt returner — which currently is needed because K. Williams is nursing an ankle injury.
    * The wild card here is Chris Hubert, aka “Little Smoke.” During a week where BA was irate about the sluggish play of the WRs, one of the brightest comment BA made was that Little Smoke is always “wide-a– open.” Clearly, Little Smoke has been a primary target the last two pre-season games. He broke the Raiders’ veteran CB Sean Smith’s ankles on a stop and fade route that left Hubert wide open for a TD, which Drew Stanton missed on. Versus the Bears, Hubert not only showed his knack for getting open, he showed nifty hands — something that has been somewhat of a question mark about him.
    * Hopefully the Cardinals will be able to pass Krishawn Hogan through waivers because this kid has size, speed and skill. And he looks pretty solid on STs too.


    Locks: Gresham, Niklas, Momah

    * Hakeem Valles has value on STs, although his holding call on K.Williams’ 20 yard punt return didn’t help his cause. But, he’s going to clear waivers and be signed to the PS like last year until he is needed.
    * Ricky Seals-Jones could be another option for the PS.


    Locks: Humphries, Iupati, Shipley, Boehm, Veldheer, Wetzel, Toner

    * The mystery surrounding 4th round pick Dorian Johnson — who displayed very good strength, punch and balance in one on one drills — puts his roster selection in doubt. One would think that by now he would be getting 2nd team snaps instead of Kaleb Johnson or Tony Bergstrom, but that hasn’t been the case. Can the Cardinals risk putting Dorian on waivers? Perhaps they can if teams that lowered his draft ranking because of his medical concerns aren’t willing to take the risk. Another thought occurs — could Dorian be disgruntled enough to elect to sign to some other team’s practice squad? Maybe he would prefer to go back to Pittsburgh? Or to Philly? He is from Belle Vernon, PA. Curiously, from day one, the Cardinals poo-hooed any talk of giving Dorian Johnson a chance to compete for the RG spot. Now he can’t even crack the 2nd team lineup? The Cardinals threw away a 5th round pick last year — will they throw away a 4th this year?
    * Will Holden has been up and down, but his potential is clearly evident. The question is, do the coaches keep him over Ulrich John? John is having a solid camp and has already shown that he can be counted on as a spot starter. The Cardinals have his rights through 2018, as he will be an RFA next year. The Cardinals will have to weigh 4 years of Holden versus 2 years of John. Holden is the type of physical talent that the Patriots could claim off waivers. He fits their system very well.
    * At guard, veteran G/C Tony Bergstrom has been worthy of earning a roster spot. He was signed as insurance and now that Mike Iupati is battling a tricep injury, maybe that tips things in favor of the coaches keeping Bergstrom. John Wetzel and Cole Toner are the swing players, but Bergstrom’s versatility could make him a swing player if Wetzel or Toner has to start.
    * G Kaleb Johnson and T Givens Price could be candidates for the PS.

    What are your thoughts? Who makes it? Who doesn’t? What would you do?

  4. By Chris G. on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    What is the deal with Jarvis Jones? Is he ever going to get on the field and is he that good, when healthy, to take up a roster spot? I’ve had to get an epidural or two in my back and when they didn’t work it lead to surgery.

  5. By Darren Urban on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Chris G —

    RE: Jarvis Jones

    All excellent questions. I wish I had answers. I am sure he wants to be on the field. Beyond that, I don’t know.

  6. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    BA dilemma: Jarvis “unavailable”, but they seem to know his talent, and know we are short handed at ILB…maybe the key position to play out.

    CB S DL OLB QB OL TE RB all well sorted, P and WR still some unpredictability in the cuts coming too.

    Is Iupati ok?

  7. By cakesw on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Saying 2-3 weeks for Nkemdiche….

    That hurts.

  8. By Martin Cook on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply


    Do you ever step back and realize you have the greatest job in the world. Growing up in AZ then moving to Seattle 14 years ago I never even got to see the new Stadium. I love repping my CARDINALS in Seattle and haven’t missed a game since 06. The hardest game to sit through was losing 58-0 in 2012. In hindsight, it lead to the firing of Whisenhunt and graves. It ussured in the new Era of keim/arians and now We have won 3 straight in their house! Birdgang

  9. By Cactus jeff on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Iupati hurt his neck 2 years ago. A stinger that weakened his arm, he has never been the same. I am guessing he will retire in-season.
    Enough with the Nkemdiche talk, having a good camp…code for oh crap were in trouble without Calais. BA couldn’t stand him because he was a top 10 DL that had the talent to be #1. It got too personal and now he is gone, the Seahawks are licking their chops.
    The cupboard is bare Too many misses in the first couple of rounds in the draft. Misses that were avoidable, Cooper and Minter did not have NFL bodies. What kind of analytics were they using? Hey Keim, it’s called CART. Looked it up

  10. By Scott H on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    I hear ya in regard to Gabbert. ASSUMING both Palmer and Stanton are done here after this year, I would be happy to have Gabbert around to be in the mix. Why not? What else are we gonna have? A rookie who MAY be our QB of the future but not ready to play yet? Really, why not? If Palmer walks after this year, we’re likely to have a few down years. That is, unless we find the next Russell Wilson / David Carr. Our track record of finding QB’s in the draft suggests that is only gonna happen if we are just plain lucky.

    I just don’t see Gabbert being kept as a 3rd string QB. Do you??? Do they trade him? If they can something of use to them this year, why not? Hate to say it but it’s no big loss.

    If nothing else, the Cardinals are in a no lose situation with Gabbert. They either have the best stable of QB’s in the league, hands down, OR they have a chip to bargain with in a trade. Either way, seems like we win.

    BTW, I give you 10 thumbs up’s just for all that work you put in on these posts!

  11. By mitchaz on Aug 23, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H—

    Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into your posts and enjoy reading them every day. One of the best things about Gabbert being the #3 QB is that he will run the scout team and would give the Cardinals’ defense a much more accurate and athletic QB to emulate the likes of Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, etc.

    Interesting that today Carson Palmer offered very high praise for Gabbert, saying that Gabbert is everything you’d want in a QB. For Palmer to say that in light of how close he is with Drew Stanton, really says something.

    If the Cardinals are as enamored with Gabbert as it seems, what they have to do (barring not being able to sign a FA like Jimmy Garoppolo) is find a way to sign Gabbert to an incentive laden 2-3 year deal that would reward him for being a starter (if he wins the job) and for playing well. Then, the Cardinals need to draft a QB in the 2018 Draft (right JTDG?). The Cardinals signed Gabbert on the cheap this year, but they will have to offer him respectable money for him stay beyond this year. This iis what the Cardinals have to figure out.What would be fair value for Gabbert moving forward.

  12. By JTDG on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply


    Are you asking what the cards are going to do or what I would do?

    QB –
    Cards – They will keep 3
    Me – I keep Palmer and Gabbert

    Cards – DJ, CJ, K. Williams, Penny
    Me – I think it is different with a healthy Logan

    Cards – Fitz, Browns, Nelson, Williams, Golden
    Me – I am trading for a receiver, Not sure John Brown can stay healthy, Haven’t seen an improved Jaron, Williams is not impressive. Don’t believe in this group, I would look to find a new receiver.

    Cards will keep 4, Niklas, Gresham, Momah and Valles.
    ME – I keep Gresham, Niklas, and Momah and Valles, but I am watching the waiver wire if I can upgrade.

    Cards – Humphries, Iupati, Shipley, Boehm, Veldheer, Wetzel, Holden, Toner, Johnson
    Me – I agree, but I would look to move Veldheer for a WR or CB2. I would also look to upgrade Shipley (which won’t happen) and I would look at a vet RG.

  13. By Coach K on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    How did Stanton beat out Gabbert based on the stats and what we have seen so far? Can someone please explain how Gabbert is #3?

  14. By mitchaz on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply


    I agree with you on keeping Palmer and Gabbert so as to open up a roster spot elsewhere.

    I am intrigued with your trade proposals—do you have specific ones in mind?

  15. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    Coach k
    BA looking at larger body of work, and has face to face daily…so better information…

    Gabbert will beat out Stanton longer term imo

  16. By CARDS62 on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the posts mitchaz and JTDG as I know these take some work on your part but they are appreciated.

    Scott H. I do not think it matters much who the #2 QB is as long as you keep all 3 and your #1 QB stays healthy. The problem is so far from what I have seen from this o line there is no way Carson makes it through this season and plays all 16 games. Hopefully Drew will do well when called upon, but if Drew does not play well I know BA will pull him fast. I do agree there is a chance we trade Gabbert this season but I hope we do not as Carson could retire after this season.

    Concerning RB I have no idea who we keep after David Johnson, hopefully our o line will remember how to run block and then we can evluate our RBs.

    Concerning o line I think we have to cut Holden and keep Tony Bergstrom. The 4th rounder, Johnson they will definitely keep, but I have not seen anything out of him yet. Pleased that we will get to see Wetzel play G over Iupati against the Falcons. I am hopeful Wetzel will play well. Rod Graves really did not make moves to improve our o line and I give Steve Keim credit as he has payed big dollars to try and improve our line. I was very pleased when we acquired Iupati, but to me he has been disappointing.

    WR – I know we will keep 3rd rounder Williams and long term that could be best but my question to all Cardinal Fans is based upon what you have seen to date would any of you keep Williams over Chris Hubert or Kevin Ross?

    ST – I have Gabbert, athletic QB become my holder over Punters for Dawson.

    I hope we are bringing in some free agents like Nick Mangold, 7 time pro bowler, team player with no baggage, and at least kick the tires, plus WR, and defensive help.

    Go Cards!

  17. By Scott H on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    To continue with thoughts on Gabbert…..I wonder about all the playing time Gabbert is getting. Now… you give a guy that much playing time now just so he can be your 3rd string QB? I say probably not, because I think you already know what you have in Gabbert. OR, do you give him that much playing time so he can showcase himself so that when another team has that injury that makes them QB-deperate, you have a legit QB to offer? That seems to make more sense to me.

    AND maybe Palmer’s words of praise ARE intended to help sell Gabbert in a trade, ya know? Not because Palmer doesn’t want him around, but because Palmer is a good guy who understands Gabbert’s situation from a QB’s point of view and would want to help him out by putting in a good word for him. THAT makes sense to me, too.

    The team has already given Stanton the nod as the back-up, so… far as Gabbert being anything more than our 3rd stringer, I think that ship has sailed. They’re not gonna go back on that now.

    So….I do think a trade makes the most sense for both the team AND for Gabbert.

    And it ain’t like we couldn’t use some help at some other positions…..

    Thanks for the kind words, bro.

  18. By JTDG on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert really has little trade value if any. He signed for the minimum and has 6 bad years of playing.

    He seems to have found a nice fit in AZ and if Palmer left, could be a nice bridge to a rookie. I see Stanton that way also. I see him as a nice back up and he could help a rookie probably better than Gabbert (who might not be so open to helping if the guy is there to take his job). But if you want Stanton to start, well, I don’t think that turns out well in 2018.

  19. By JTDG on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply


    Tough to know who might be available without calling GMs and asking.

    But hey, let’s throw this one out. Rumor is, The Patriots might be looking to move Nate Solder , their LT. He is due a huge payday and like Jones and Collins, it is better to trade a guy instead having him walk. The Pats have resigned several players but not Solder.

    The Pats were open about Malcolm Butler and trading him. He is only a 3 million hit to the cap this year. So the Pats would get Veldheer for 6.5 million a year for 2 years to play LT. The cards get a CB, but clear 3.5 million in cap space (which is what Butler would cost) plus 10 million in 2018.

    The Pats then turn around and move Solder for picks or players. The cards have PP and Malcolm Butler for 2017 and can decide at the end of the year what they will do with Butler.

    That is just one.
    Other trades I would call on.
    -Dede Westbrook wr with Jags is behind guys on depth chart and Jags need a LT.
    -DRC could be had in trade with Giants even though that most likely won’t happen with cards.
    -Tyrell Williams of Chargers had a breakout year last year but the Chargers drafted Mike Williams and Keenan Allen coming back from injury and signed Travis Benjamin. Could he be pryed away from the chargers? Never know.
    – Could you get Mike Wallace, who BA coached from the Ravens ? Would save Ravens 4 million and cost cards only 4.75 million. Still a deep threat.
    Jason Kelce was a pro bowler last year, he is slipping but might have another year left.

    Not mention FAs and cuts to come. Plenty of opportunities to improve this team.
    Nick Mangold is coming off foot surgery. He is sitting home recovering. Might be worth the call.

  20. By Scott H on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    IF he continues to make good showings, I think Gabbert COULD have value to a team that takes a hit to the QB position ( injury ) and needs to try to be competitive going into to 2017 ( as opposed to rolling with a Ryan LIndley-type QB that gives them no shot, ya know? ).

    Maybe I’m reaching, but…we know this scenario does play out for SOMEONE just about every year.

  21. By JTDG on Aug 24, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H;

    Do you think we could trade Gabbert back to Jacksonville for Blake Bortles?

  22. By Scott H on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Hey, there’s a thought. But….geez, do we even want Bortles at this point?? I’m wondering if Jax makes that trade happily right now….

  23. By Coach K on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG and Scott H

    It all comes down to coaching. Gabbert had the misfortune to have a different coach and system each year of his first 6 years. Does that make him a bad QB, or a victim of circumstance.

    What if B.A. had him those first 6 years?

    I think Gabbert and that strong arm are much better than his past 6 years reflect. Losing him or cutting him this year is a mistake in my opinion.

  24. By Scott H on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    CARDS62 –

    Sorry, didn’t mean to overlook your comments to me in your last post. No, bottom line, it really doesn’t matter who is where on the depth chart behind Palmer if Palmer goes down. Because if Palmer goes down, I think we go down with him. Hey, we’ve seen Stanton come in and keep us competitive before, but….can that happen again? Not so sure. And I have even less confidence that Gabbert could do it. So…..

    As for Gabbert in a trade…..I’m torn on that, but as stated elsewhere, I think it’s a win-win for the Cardinals. If we can get something for him over the next few weeks that can up-grade a position of need for 2017, I say do it. Absolutely, do it. But if not….I have no problem having Gabbert around to be in the mix in 2018.

    But I wonder if what ultimately happens with Gabbert will have ANYTHING to do with the team’s feeling for what Palmer is doing after this year, ya know? If they keep Gabbert, does it mean they believe ( Know? ) Palmer is done after this year? If they trade him, does it mean they have confidence that Palmer is going to keep playing? Just a consideration that occurs to me…..

  25. By JTDG on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K,

    I agree with you. But truth is, Gabbert did have 6 different OCs, now a 7th.

    So, not to knock him, but at this point, there just isn’t any trade value. Sure he has looked good in preseason, but he was a FA and signed for minimum and a chance to just make a team.

    Now, could I see him being our bridge QB after Palmer and before a rookie takes over? Of course, and maybe he can become more under BA. But today, right now, he just isn’t a trade chip.

  26. By JTDG on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,


    Hey, this guy put up 4500 yards and 35 TDs in 2015. That doesn’t happen by accident.

    We are seeing a resurgence with Gabbert after his living hell of Jax and Niners.

    I would seriously consider grabbing Bortles if released now or at end of year. Its tough to judge someone who ends up in Cleveland or Jax or SF before the new change this year.

  27. By CARDS62 on Aug 25, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K JTDG Scott H

    Moved to Jacksonville we call it Jax 4 years ago for work and it is a nice area just way too hot and humid for 5 months a year, and the fans are pulling their hair out here because of the QB position.

    Fans and local sports talk radio hosts think they have a solid team because of all of their high draft choices over the years, but they know they will have another losing record primarily because of their QB situation and O line.C. Campbell signed with the Jags.

    We do not want Bortles for Gabbert as the fans in Jax will go for that in a second. I feel sorry for their fans but it is kind of funny that the guy they ran out of town they would now take back to be their starter. The pressure was too great on Gabbert and it is too great on Bortles now. It is now in Bortles head and like a 2nd baseman who can not throw to first base any longer that is Bortles trying to pass a football and especially over 15 yards down the field. I see him being released by the Jags after this season and hopefully he can find his game in a year or two. Bortles stats are over rated as a lot of his yards and touchdowns came in games that the Jags were losing by a lot.

    I do not have the confidence in Stanton that most Cardinal Fans have and I am confused by the poor play of our o line so I hope we hold on to Gabbert this season as I feel he could win us some games if Carson is injured.

    GO Cards!

  28. By Adam L on Aug 26, 2017 | Reply


    Just wondering when you’re going to do your Defensive Predictions? Thanks, I really enjoy your comments.

  29. By Scott H on Aug 27, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Bortles

    Hey, I hear ya. But the regression in 2016 is the counter to his 2015. After 2015, I thought he was one of the real up & comers at QB, along with Carr. But Carr justified it, Bortles…..not so much. I’m not writing him off, but….his 2016 season can’t be over-looked, either. I need to see him bounce back before I can trust him again.

  30. By Scott H on Aug 27, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken –

    I hear ya about the coaching / coordinator changes that Gabbert has been through. BUT don’t we all know that nothing gets more coaches fired than poor play from the QB? I’m just suggesting that we consider what I think is a valid point, which is that perhaps if Gabbert had played better, maybe they wouldn’t have fired so many coaches / coordinators.

    Where QB’s are concerned, I do not believe it ALL comes down to coaching. Hate to be simple about it but where QB’s are concerned, I think some guys can just play, and some guys just can’t. I think it comes down to that more often than not.

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