Kolb’s ribs sore, MRI coming

Posted by Darren Urban on October 15, 2012 – 11:29 am

The X-ray to Kevin Kolb’s ribs and sternum were negative, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, although the quarterback is getting a follow-up MRI today to make sure there is nothing that was missed. Obviously, Kolb is sore. But it’s Monday, so Whiz was certainly not going to start talking about who would start in Minnesota. Right now, that’s because all the information isn’t available for Kolb yet. But there’s a chance it won’t change until deep in the week if at all. Everyone knows how Whiz will be cautious with that information.

— Safety Kerry Rhodes is also getting an MRI on his back after it tightened up on him a couple of times. That too will be wait-and-see.

— Asked about if he thought the pass protection improved Sunday, Whiz said “That’s a tough question to answer.” He added, “We did some things better. … Overall we got a little better.” The Cards will need better with the Vikings’ Jared Allen looming Sunday.

— The status for TE Todd Heap and FB Anthony Sherman is to be determined. Whiz acknowledged he was “disappointed” Heap wasn’t able to play Sunday. It was suggested the Cards miss Heap’s blocking.”We miss Todd overall,” Whisenhunt said.

— On Jay Feely’s missed 38-yard field goal on the final play — a kick that was deflected a bit by Bills DT Alex Carrington, Whisenhunt said “it wasn’t a matter of protection.” The protection, Whiz said, was good. “I don’t think he got very much of it,” Whisenhunt said, but it was enough.

— The Cards checked into the run play on which Kolb got hurt, but running back William Powell didn’t get the change. That led to the broken play and Kolb getting hurt. “It was a miscommunication,” Whisenhunt said.


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Heap still sitting, Skelton to back up Kolb

Posted by Darren Urban on October 14, 2012 – 11:30 am

Tight end Todd Heap remains sidelined today with his bad knee, while quarterback John Skelton is active today for the first time since hurting his ankle and will back up starter Kevin Kolb. The Cards do have tight end Jim Dray back to help at tight end.

Injuries are a big reason for a chunk of inactives today. Linebacker Reggie Walker (concussion), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) and cornerbacks Michael Adams and Greg Toler (both hamstrings) are all out. Also sitting out is QB Ryan Lindley — natural with Skelton back — and guard Senio Kelemete.

That means wide receiver LaRon Byrd will be active for the first time in his NFL career. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is active.


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Some work under the lights

Posted by Darren Urban on October 1, 2012 – 7:56 pm

It was basically a walk-through tonight, which is what is expected a day after playing an NFL football game. The Cards will practice late afternoon tomorrow, and midday Wednesday before flying out for St. Louis.

The Cardinals did have an injury report, although as coach Ken Whisenhunt noted earlier today, the truth about how banged-up players like Darnell Dockett really are won’t be known until tomorrow at the earliest. And even then I am guessing Dockett and others will be game-day decisions whether they will play.

Monday’s list is long. CB Michael Adams (hamstring), TE Jim Dray (knee), TE Todd Heap (knee), RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip) and LB Quentin Groves (hamstring) did not practice. Dockett (hamstring) was limited, as was LB Paris Lenon (knee), LB O’Brien Schofield (knee), FB Anthony Sherman (hamstring), QB John Skelton (ankle), G Adam Snyder (elbow) and NT Dan Williams (foot).

For the Rams, among those on the injury report were RB Steven Jackson (groin) and T Rodger Saffold (knee), both of whom sat out.


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No shock: Dockett, Heap, Hyphen out for Dolphins

Posted by Darren Urban on September 30, 2012 – 11:34 am

The doubtful players all are sitting today for the Cardinals, which includes defensive lineman Darnell Dockett (hamstring). It also includes running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip), tight end Todd Heap (knee) and tight end Jim Dray (knee).

That mean safety Adrian Wilson is playing, as is fullback Anthony Sherman — although new signee Reagan Maui’a is active as well as a reserve because Dray is out.

Quarterback John Skelton (ankle) also is still out. Ryan Lindley remains Kevin Kolb’s backup.

Guard Senio Kelemete and wide receiver LaRon Byrd are the Cards’ only “healthy” scratches. Reggie Bush is playing for the Dolphins.


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Dockett doubtful, Maui’a returns

Posted by Darren Urban on September 28, 2012 – 12:04 pm

Four players did not practice at all this week, and all four are doubtful to play Sunday against the Dolphins, including defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. (The other three are running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, tight end Todd Heap and tight end/fullback Jim Dray). Not having Dockett would be a blow to the defense, obviously. Coach Ken Whisenhunt called Dockett, Heap and Hyphen game-day decisions, but realistically, it’s going to be tough. “I’m not a doctor, I don’t think he could play. He hasn’t taken a snap,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton said.

Horton reiterated his unit is still leaving plays on the table. That allows the group to stay humble at this point.

— Eagles defensive end Jason Babin was fined $15,750 for his horse-collar tackle against Stephens-Howling in the game last weekend. There was no flag thrown on the play.

— The Cardinals needed a fullback with the injuries to Anthony Sherman (hamstring) and Dray (knee), so they brought in Korey Hall this week. That lasted two days.

The team announced Friday Hall has been placed on the reserved-retired list, with local favorite Regan Maui’a once again getting the call to replace him. I just saw Hall in the locker room yesterday heading to meetings, so obviously something changed to make him apparently choose to retire and/or leave after just signing.

This makes eight different times Maui’a has signed with the Cards all told, starting in 2009. Maui’a was with the Cardinals for a while in training camp last month. Maui’a played in 15 games in 2010 and three games last season for the Cards, having spent training camp with the team for all or part of 2009, 2010 and 2011.


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Cards add fullback Hall

Posted by Darren Urban on September 25, 2012 – 1:02 pm

There has been no word on the status of fullback Anthony Sherman but apparently something happened, because the Cardinals Tuesday added fullback Korey Hall to the roster. Reserve guard Rich Ohrnberger played a snap at fullback at the end of Sunday’s win, so it makes sense something is up with Sherman. I’m sure it will be addressed Wednesday. Hall spent four years with the Packers and last season with the Saints before the Saints cut him at the end of camp this season. Hall not only played with guard Daryn Colledge in Green Bay, but also at Boise State.

To make room for Hall, the Cards cut tackle Pat McQuistan.

The Cards also made a practice squad move, bringing back linebacker Zach Nash, who was with the team in camp but injured most of the time, and releasing linebacker Ricky Elmore.


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Cards name their captains

Posted by Darren Urban on September 5, 2012 – 4:01 pm

The Cardinals officially named their team captains today. Offensively, it is Larry Fitzgerald and Lyle Sendlein. Defensively, it’s Paris Lenon and Adrian Wilson. For special teams, however, it’s a couple of new names: Reggie Walker and Anthony Sherman (pictured below).

The first four aren’t surprises. All four were captains last year too. Walker has been good on special teams for a couple of years, and it’s interesting he gets the nod as a captain now after he stood out as a linebacker in preseason. Sherman is only in his second year, but like former Cardinals fullback/special teams Pro Bowler Ron Wolfley, it’s like he was born to play in what Wolfley likes to call “the transition game.”

“It shows he has put in a lot of hard work,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “When you are a fullback you have a limited amount of work in today’s NFL. You’ve got to understand what is important, and being a special teams guy is part of that. He has impressed enough of his teammates that he was named captain in his second year, and that’s one of the reasons we were excited about getting him in the draft.”

 


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A guess at the 53

Posted by Darren Urban on August 29, 2012 – 4:59 pm

Every NFL team must have it roster cuts in by Friday afternoon. To be exact, by 6 p.m. Arizona time. I expect the Cardinals – and coach Ken Whisenhunt – to have announced them before, since Whiz will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. that day. Until then, though, this is a guess at how this 53-man roster shakes out.

Whisenhunt made it clear the other day that this last preseason game does matter when it comes to a spot or two on the roster, and I believe that. It means trying to approximate who will be on the roster before that last game is somewhat fool’s gold. I’m certainly not Nostradamus here. Last year, for instance, I had Ben Graham holding off Dave Zastudil for the punter job. I was very wrong. And this only holds for as long as it might take for the Cards to claim/sign a guy or two over the weekend, which would obviously change things. That always happens.

But it’s fodder to chew on until Friday, speculation upon which this time of the NFL schedule is built around. So with apologies to those I miss on, and with a nod to old school Letterman, this is only an exhibition and not a competition, so please, no wagering.

QB – (3) John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley. No, we don’t know the starter yet. But it’s hard to believe that with everything Lindley has shown as a rookie he doesn’t get the nod over Rich Bartel (who is one of the best guys you’ll meet and someday will be a very good coach.)

RB – (4) Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, LaRod Stephens-Howling, William Powell. This is one of the sticking points. Powell has had a good preseason, but as I have mentioned many times, I think Alfonso Smith has as well. It may come down to how Powell looks Thursday night. Will I be shocked if Smith is the choice instead of Powell? Nope.

FB – (1) Anthony Sherman. The Sherminator running unopposed. It’s like a boring political “race.”

WR – (6) Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Michael Floyd, DeMarco Sampson, LaRon Byrd. This is a close one, in my mind. The top four are obvious. I think Sampson has had a good camp and he can play special teams. Byrd versus Stephen Williams may just be about Byrd’s upside. I’m not sure Byrd would make it to the practice squad but — given some other positional issues, like, at say, offensive line – I’m not sure either if the Cards may try and keep just five receivers and use the practice squad for relief.

TE – (4) Todd Heap, Jeff King, Rob Housler, Jim Dray. Given the injury history of, well, all of them, I think the Cards play it safe and keep four guys around again.

OL – (8) D’Anthony Batiste, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Bobby Massie, Rich Ohrnberger, Jeremy Bridges, Senio Kelemete. This is a very difficult one from the outside looking in. The Cards might keep nine linemen, given their . Has Kelemete shown enough, even as a draft pick? Would Nate Potter be possible given the tackle issues? Where might a free agent or waiver claim fit in? I could see Potter, D.J. Young and/or center Scott Wedige as practice squad material too.

DL (6) – Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Vonnie Holliday, David Carter, Nick Eason. Seems fairly cut and dried at this position, one of the few like that.

LB – (8) Sam Acho, Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington, O’Brien Schofield, Stewart Bradley, Reggie Walker, Clark Haggans, Brandon Williams. This is another spot that might come down to the Denver game. The backup outside linebacker spot figures to have two places for three guys: Haggans, Williams, Quentin Groves. Groves made some plays early. Williams plays some special teams and has been higher on the depth chart.

DB (10) – Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes, Jamell Fleming, Justin Bethel, Rashad Johnson, James Sanders, Greg Toler, A.J. Jefferson. Usually, the Cards wouldn’t keep more than nine defensive backs, and that’s still possible. With 10, Bethel is a special teams keeper despite being a raw DB. Michael Adams is the odd man out there, but it will not shock me to see Adams stick around either and maybe someone like Jefferson out. Watching the reserve defensive backs closely in the finale, because I think that will be part of the equation.

ST – (3) Jay Feely (K), Dave Zastudil (P), Mike Leach (LS). Never should have doubted Leach’s return.


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A night of intensity

Posted by Darren Urban on August 1, 2012 – 9:56 pm

The night practices in Flagstaff — especially the first one, which this year means the only one — always brings with it a certain vibe. It’s usually at least a week into camp. By then, the offense and defense are tired of each other. Then coach Ken Whisenhunt pulls out the live goal line session at the end of the evening, and all heck breaks loose.

After Wednesday night’s battle, linebacker Clark Haggans was succinct: “What happens at Lumberjack Stadium stays in Lumberjack Stadium.”

It’s not so much what happens but how it unfolds, with both sides yapping at each other and trash talk of the highest order. It was heated when Kevin Kolb threw a bullet into the back of the end zone that Larry Fitzgerald and Justin Bethel each got a hand on, only to have to ball pop in the air so Fitz could grab a touchdown. It went back the defensive way when fullback Anthony Sherman, on a rare carry, had his helmet blasted off by linebacker Colin Parker. And then the emotion swung to the offense again when offensive coordinator Mike Miller and quarterback John Skelton conspired to fool the world — with Miller calling the exact same play for Sherman and telling Skelton to keep it for a naked bootleg without telling the offense.

Touchdown.

“We get the best out of each other,” said tackle Jeremy Bridges, the king of the talkers Wednesday. “We get on each other’s nerves as you can see. It’s bragging rights amongst us. But in the big scheme of things, there will be a lot of people who will feel the wrath of Birdgang this year.”

Cornerback William Gay doesn’t play in the goal line package, but he was up in the defensive unit’s face after every play, like a boxing corner man pumping up his prize fighter.

“It’s the only thing that’s fully, fully live, tackle to the ground,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Situation like that, you can’t let the other unit get the best of you.”

“No one ever wants to lose,” Skelton said. “You want to score a touchdown every time on offense and you don’t want to give up one on defense. It’s just pride.”

There was no official winner — Kolb said Whisenhunt called it a tie — but when Bridges was asked about who won, he didn’t miss a beat. “The Cardinals.”

(And yes, video will be posted later.)

— Kolb said his quad “held up fine” — he was not limited at all — but he knew everything else took a backseat to the part at the end. “The intensity was through the roof.”

— Safety Adrian Wilson and running back William Powell each came out of the practice after what looked like some sort of leg injury for each. Neither looked serious.


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Beanie will play in preseason, may practice next week

Posted by Darren Urban on July 30, 2012 – 12:29 pm

Running back Beanie Wells, still on the PUP list with his knee rehab, will play in the preseason at some point, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. He may also come off the PUP list next week, when the team practices in Kansas City.

“He will probably start doing some work next week,” Whisenhunt said. “We’d like to get him involved in preseason games, probably a little bit later. We’ll see how it goes.”

Running back Ryan Williams isn’t a lock to play against the Saints in the Hall of Fame game Sunday. Whisenhunt said he definitely wants to get Williams preseason work, but he isn’t sure in what games yet. Playing against the Saints will depend on how he does in practice this week. The Cards are already missing running back Javarris James, who is sidelined with an abductor strain, leaving just LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and William Powell as available running backs.

“We may unleash the Sherminator,” Whisenhunt said, referring to fullback Anthony Sherman (and trying to stifle a chuckle.) “We’re kind of holding that in our back pocket.”

Seriously, though, “what you worry about is one more (injury). Then you’re pretty thin.”

— As a Red-White follow-up, Whisenhunt said Saturday’s work “was a little bit of an eye opener.” A lot was thrown at the team “and they didn’t react very well.” More on this later.


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