Dray provides tight end insurance

Posted by Darren Urban on September 14, 2017 – 8:35 pm

Troy Niklas appeared on the injury report today with a hip injury. Not great news anyway, but harder still with Jermaine Gresham yet to practice this week because of the ribs injury he suffered when he was bodyslammed at the end of the Detroit game. So when there were multiple reports Thursday night the Cardinals were bringing in veteran tight end Jim Dray — nothing has been officially announced by the team — it made sense.

UPDATE: The Cards have officially signed Dray, cutting LB Philip Wheeler.

Dray was drafted by the Cardinals in 2010 and played the first four years of his career in Arizona. He was in Cleveland the two years after that and then spent time with the 49ers and Bills last year. This doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be active Sunday in Indy — he might just be in case if Gresham and Niklas can’t go. But figuring you want three tight ends active on game day, with two hurting (Ifeanyi Momah is OK), having one extra in case is smart.

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29 Responses to “Dray provides tight end insurance”

  1. By Cardinale on Sep 14, 2017 | Reply

    who would they cut to make room for this washed up un-athletic and skinny tight-end?

  2. By Cardinale on Sep 14, 2017 | Reply

    Why don’t we sign Housler? At least he was more durable than Troy!

  3. By jeffcardinalfan on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    finally momah should get lots of snaps…I don’t know how well he blocks but I remember several plays in which he drug defenders for extra yards after a catch. colts defense will have to respect john browns deep threat-might open up momah down the middle…but please no more than a couple of dump offs to cj-thats not his forte

  4. By JTDG on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    TEs hurting, Smoke is not himself again, No DJ, No Humphries, maybe no Iupati.

    Thank God we have the Colts this week.

  5. By JTDG on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Here is what Kyle wrote in his article defending Bethel;

    “After reviewing the game, I had Bethel with 11 targets in the contest. He allowed six completions for 103 yards with the two touchdowns and interception (not counting his pass breakup on a two-point conversion). That’s a quarterback rating of 88.2, which is average, but still better than the 114.4 rating allowed by the Cardinals on the rest of Stafford’s throws.”

    103 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t as bad as the other guys? That is the defense. Really. We are defending bad with worse?

    Hey Jeffery Dahmer killed and ate a bunch of people but hey, he wasn’t as bad as Hitler.

    Yeah, that is a great defense of Bethel, Kyle. You also didn’t mention the 5 other passes, I counted 3 drops. But hey, if you think 103 yards and two late 4th quarter, game winning TDs is good, you go with it.

    Just understand this, if you are constantly defending a player, you may want to ask why?

  6. By erik on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Thank goodness Jim Dray is here. Way to stay aggressive, Keim!

  7. By tom manoogian on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    most of us are cards fans but damn there is not a pool of great players just sitting in house waiting for us to call.we gotta deal with it best way he can

  8. By TucsonTim on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Niklas on the injury report…shocking

  9. By Ric Italia on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    No better tight-end options then Dray? Heaven help us. Bears are looking better then th Cards.

  10. By clssylssy on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    It was good to see BA considering to use TEs for something other than blocking (did he really have a choice) but REALLY disheartening to see such poor planning by the FO when we’ve had so many injured/sick players in the receivers/TE groups and now after just one game, find outselves behind the 8 ball AGAIN!
    Broken ribs don’t heal fast and are painful so even when Greshem is back playing, he’s not going to be playing as aggressive because of the pain and fear of getting reinjured & risk of puncturing a lung & suffering a pneumothorax , So, my very big concern now is our offense that seems to be very loosely tied together! The fact that much of this was predictable REALLY has me pulling my hair out. Jim Dray may have worn a Cards uniform some years ago and will provide some depth with good size, but that was how many teams ago?
    Right now Bethel doesn’t jump to my list of chief concerns!

  11. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Oh, for the love of…..related to the Dray story, who cares? Really. Not sure what we think a non-factor of a TE is going to do for us…..unless he can block better than some of our O-lineman.

    My concern continues to lie with the guy throwing the passes. If he doesn’t get his act together, the guys we have out there to catch them matter very little.

  12. By creditcard on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    In his prime, Jim Dray was completely subpar when he played for the Cardinals. Kiem couldn’t find a better option? Wouldn’t Kiem and company know there will be fan pushback regarding Jim Dray? Mind boggling to say the least.

  13. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Well, at least we’re not the Bengals. Holy cow…..THAT is bad. 9 points / no TD’s in two games.

    Speaking of bad, score another one for Thurs Night Football. That whole thing is just a bad idea that should be put to rest, but or course, the NFL isn’t going to do that. Playing games on such a short week just does not work. And that gets worse as the season wears on and players wear down.

    I’ve been a football fan for more than 4 decades now and ya know what? I really don’t NEED football on Thursday night. Especially when, more often than not, it is bad football. All day Sunday and Monday Night are just fine. Can the NFL ever just leave anything alone???

    I’m seeing where Brissett will be the starting QB against us this week. Ya wonder… that good or bad?? Does that spark a team that got pasted last week and needs a win badly? Does a QB change put that charge into them that makes them a different team? And how do ya prepare for a QB that there is no “book” on??? Ya wonder if that favors the Colts here.

    I think back to that game against the Steelers where we ran a pathetic Michael Vick out of the game, a QB no one ever heard of before took over, and he pretty much smoked us.

    I was glad to hear PP speak up and call this a must win for the Cardinals. While that may be obvious and an under-statement, I think it is good that one of our leaders is putting it out there for his team mates to hear. As flat as this team was last week, seems like we need a spark of our own. Already after one game… sad is that?

  14. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Good lord, we have Jim Dray wearing #81??? OK, somebody needs to do something about that pronto. #81 has had too much of a history here ( Roy Green, Anquan Boldin, Frank Sanders ) to be adorned by Jim Dray.

    Sanders DID wear #81, didn’t he??? My gosh, I don’t trust my memory like I used to.

    Man, how great was Sanders??? I loved that guy! He and Rob Moore were a really good WR tandem for this team for a few seasons there.

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Dray/81

    Dray wore 81 all four years he played in Arizona previously.

  16. By Big Ken on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Healthy Troy Niklas? That didn’t last long.

  17. By JTDG on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,


    Coming out of college, I thought he would take time, but develop into a good QB. Being behind Tom Brady had to help.

    Big, strong armed QB who will take his shots down field. He is accurate. Played 3 games for Pats (as a rookie) with 2 starts and competed over 62% of his passes and went 1-1 in his 2 starts. He can run but is more of a pocket passer.

    So, the issue? He has been in the new offense for a week and a half, maybe two weeks. Throwing to Moncreif and TY Hilton for 3 practices? Doubt he knows much of the offense. Not to mention, the reason Luck is out, is because he got hit as much as Palmer. Can’t be good news for Brissett.

    The colts want to run Frank Gore (when has he ever hurt the cards?) and take shots down the field. Pat P will draw TY and the cards will crowd the line to take away the run.

    I just do not see the colts being able to do much with a young QB, in his 3rd start, in an offense for 2 weeks and Pat P matched up with TY. Their offense will sputter and the cards should run up the score on them. 35-13.

  18. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken –

    A healthy Troy Niklas……yeah, the words don’t even go together, do they?

    We probably should have known that wasn’t gonna last. When has it ever?

    Maybe this is just my frustration getting the better of me here, but… seems to me there are some players here we just need to close the book on. Let’s start with Niklas. My God, this guy is now a veteran player and we haven’t even seen him play! He’s never able to play. Ya know what? I’m done. No more Troy Niklas. No more being teased with what this guy COULD do.

    Hate to say it but ya wonder if Smoky is now entering this territory. And nothing against him. I love the kid and I’m sure he is doing everything he can. But it reaches a point where some people’s health issues just are not going to allow them to play in the NFL. He may be one of them. HE needs to take care of himself and maybe trying to play football is not in his best interests. WE need WR’s we can count on. This just doesn’t seem to be working out.

  19. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply


    Re: Bethel (and 2nd corner generally),

    OK, I get it — the second corner has been a problem and you and others have been harping on Keim to fix it for quite a while.

    That said, no matter who our second corner is (unless it’s an absolute stud), he’s going to get picked on because of Peterson. Very few throws are made to Peterson’s guy, so our #2 guy is always going to give up more yards and plays than the average team’s #2 guy.

    If our #1 corner was, say, the 16th-best #1 corner in the league (I have no idea who that is, but just saying, it’s not Peterson or Marcus Peters or whatever), then I believe our #2 guy — whether that’s Bethel now or someone else at various times in recent Cards’ history — wouldn’t look as bad as he inevitably does.

    So I guess that begs the question — would you rather have Peterson and Bethel, or a league-average #1 CB (which would be around the 16th best) and a league-average #2 CB (which would be around the 48th best)?

    Of course, we’d always like to have the best guy at every position, but that’s not possible, so I’m just asking the question hypothetically as a thought experiment. I know you will probably throw out a few names and say, “But we could have had so-and-so who was a free agent and better than Bethel, or we could have drafted so-and-so…” I’m not looking for you to give me the names of the guys we could have instead of Bethel; I’m genuinely interested in whether you think, at CB, an NFL team is better served by a superstar and a subpar (relative to the league norm) guy, or by two average guys.

  20. By Rod on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Season is over before it began.

  21. By erik on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    -Kevin S. Mesa

    Then Keim needs to go out and try to find another stud corner. It’s that simple. Lord knows they were available. At this point, it would be hard to defend the position that they even tried.

  22. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Dray wore #81 for 4 years…

    Yes, and a memorable 4 years they were!

  23. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Erik —

    So you avoided my question.

    Look, a team can’t have a stud at every single position. You can’t afford the stud QB that everyone wants, stud receivers, a stud RB, stud left tackle, stud corners, stud pass rushers, and so on.

    I’m not saying Keim shouldn’t have addressed the need. I’m simply pointing out that ANY #2 CB (other than a handful) is going to get picked on when he’s opposite Peterson, and positing that perhaps because of this, our #2 CB’s are in an impossible spot and are never going to satisfy the fans. I believe that if we didn’t have Peterson, and instead had some average #1 CB, people would just be asking for a general upgrade at the position and not focusing so much on the #2 CB.

    Sometimes you get lucky. When Russell Wilson turned out to be a legit starting QB that the Seahawks stole in the 3rd round (which surprised everyone, including the Hawks themselves who had planned on going with Matt Flynn), this allowed them to go four years without having to pay a QB anything like what we had to pay for Palmer. Or even Kolb for that matter — Kolb was getting way more than Wilson when they both played. So that gave Seattle a ton of money to invest on their D. Dallas is now in a similar position, having unexpectedly hit the lottery with Prescott. I say unexpectedly, because it was supposed to be Romo playing all last year; Prescott got the job only because of his injury.

  24. By JTDG on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin S. Mesa

    CB 2:

    First, I bring up Bethel a lot because this organization and those connected to it seem to want to defend him constantly. I hear excuses (he needs seasoning, he was hurt, the pass rush, the safety didn’t get over or the newest, he wasn’t as bad as others). My eyes aren’t lying. He gets beat like a rented mule. I don’t care how physically gifted he is, he isn’t good.

    But back to your question;
    How do you fix CB2 ?
    You sign Gilmore. You sign AJ Bouye. You trade up two spots to get Marshawn Lattimore. You stay at 13 and take Marlon Humphries. You draft Sidney Jones in round two.

    Any of these choices would be better. I don’t understand why you can’t have Peterson and a good #2.

    But to address the direct question of would I want Peterson and Bethel or two good CBs? I would take Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. I would take Gilmore and Malcolm Butler. But truth is, I would take Peterson and Gilmore, because we could have had that. No reason we couldn’t.

  25. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    When is an NFL team ever served by having sub-par players at any position???

    I think NFL teams are best served by having real competition at all positions. And where the CB position is concerned, I do NOT believe the Cardinals had that during this off-season. We heard that Bethel made the best showing to become the starter on the other side at CB, it was apparent that he won the position.

    OK. But won it against WHO? Against WHAT competition???

    I have to agree with erik – this was / IS a failure of the front office. More could / should have been done to address the need at this position. Heck, we had Marcus Cooper – our best CB not named Patrick Peterson – right in our hands and we let him walk. Keeping him here was going to break us??? C’mon…..

  26. By JTDG on Sep 15, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa;

    First things first; – Russell Wilson
    You are wrong about that. I heard Mike Mayock say again and again that Wilson was the real deal and the only thing stopping him from being a first rounder was his height. But Mayock said he would take him in a second. Now if Mayock was saying that, I am sure others, including the Hawks were thinking that.

    As for Flynn, he was signed before the draft, The Hawks had no idea if Wilson would fall to them. They needed a QB. They signed Flynn. But as soon as Wilson got to camp, they began to take a long look and soon Flynn was gone.

    Dak Prescott was known but got a DUI and sent home from a bowl game. Red flag says he doesn’t take the game seriously. The cowboys wanted Conner Cook but the raiders grabbed him and they have been known to take a chance on players with character questions.

    But back to the cards;

    Any CB2 will be picked on. True. No one wants to throw against PP. You won’t make a living throwing the ball his way. One catch for 6 yards in week one. And he was angry about giving up that 6 yard TD on the scramble. What it must have felt like to be Marvin Jones. Why even run a route?

    I also will point out that Badger was picked on worse. He struggled in the slot.

    But you say you can’t have a stud everywhere. No, you are right. Two things though.

    First, good draft picks can give you more studs at more positions. I’ll take a positive look at Keim drafting. Humphries, DJ, Golden and Gunter are all starters with DJ and Golden being studs. You hope Mauro, Nkemdiche and Pierre can fill the shoes of Campbell. That is always the goal.
    So, the cards have made moves to fill spots via the draft.

    Second, you look at the cap in the future. A look at the cards next year, they have 30 million in cap room. If you release Palmer, Iupati and Veldheer, you would have another 27 million bringing the total to 57 million. Then you look at Free Agents in 2018.

    John Brown (who cant seem to stay healthy), Larry (who may or may not come back), and several guys who will not command big pay days. (Branch, Peters, Dansby) .

    So, really, there isn’t anyone you must resign. So, you could have signed a Gilmore, pay him a bonus and push money into 2018. You could have brought in a Kevin Zeitler at guard and move Boehm behind Iupati .

    So, explain to me two things? One, can you have a stud at CB2 ? Second, why, knowing you could have 57 million in 2018, why you wouldn’t do everything to find players to push you over the top in 2017 ?

  27. By MoJoe on Sep 16, 2017 | Reply

    The sad part is not the signing of Jim Dray, but the fact BA can plug him in immediately to play because the offense hasn’t changed since he left.

  28. By Big Ken on Sep 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H- Concur. If some of these guys can’t stay ‘healthy’ year in and year out maybe they should remain on the team. I understand them being lock in under contract, but please don’t re-sign proven unproductive players.

  29. By Scott H on Sep 16, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    Just to get in on this….OK, so you’re saying we are avoiding your question but I think we have a DIFFERENT question that is just as valid. You are using the word “stud” and asserting that you can’t have studs at every position. OK.

    Well, first of all, we clearly don’t. So….there’s that.

    But here is how we ARE answering your question – why did there have to be a “stud” CB on the other side for the need at that position to have been more effectively addressed? Isn’t there SOMETHING that exists between “stud” player and Justin Bethel? Yes, there is. That is the point WE are making, so I think it does answer your question.

    Or, maybe it poses another question that is also going un-answered here.

    No one is saying we HAD to have a stud CB on the other side. And if we had a clue, we KNEW that wasn’t gonna happen. But there COULD be a better player than Bethel that would NOT have to be a stud. It’s not ( if you’ll pardon the expression ) all or nothing.

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