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Until it’s Rosen’s time, Cardinals’ Wilks hopes for a Bradford turnaround

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford passes against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim wouldn’t allude to a timeline for rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to make his NFL debut.

Joining the Doug & Wolf show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Friday, he said Rosen’s time will come “when the time is right.”

All that’s known is the start of Sunday’s game at State Farm Stadium against the Chicago Bears won’t be it. Sam Bradford is the starting quarterback, and Wilks addressed concerns over his play with only positivity on Friday. That is, the head coach isn’t going to talk about Rosen’s playing time until that time comes.

“I’m not going to sit here and talk about whether or not (Bradford) performs bad. I want him to perform well, and I want everyone around him to perform well,” Wilks said.

Hardly the Cardinals’ only problem through two weeks, Bradford has completed 61 percent of his passes but for a paltry 3.98 yards per attempt. The 30-year-old has thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns for an Arizona offense that’s been outscored by opponents 58-6 in losses to Washington and Los Angeles.

Pressed on when the team could consider inserting their rookie quarterback, Wilks continued to be hopeful that Bradford can turn things around.

“Right now, I’m really hoping that Sam can be effective in the things that we’re trying to ask him to do, and where Josh can continue to learn and grow,” Wilks said. “Sometimes you throw those rookies in there, they go through those rough spots but eventually they get better. But I would love for him to sit back and learn and grow, and for Sam to be able to continue to perform and get this offense better.

“Whenever the time is right, like (Keim) said, we’ll evaluate that at that particular time.”

STOPPING THE BOOS

Wilks, on pumping in crowd boos during practice this week after the State Farm Stadium fans booed the Cardinals in a 24-6 Week 1 loss to Washington: “We always talk about if you don’t learn from history, you’re bound to repeat it. I wanted those guys to understand, number one, we’re playing for each other, we’re playing for ourselves, but we are playing for our fans.

“We didn’t do that the first two weeks. I thought it was important that they heard that so we don’t hear it again.”

MACK ATTACK

On Sunday, Arizona faces a Bears defense led by pass rusher Khalil Mack, the 27-year-old traded from Oakland to Chicago before the regular season began.

So far, he’s recorded 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and intercepted one pass.

The man likely dealing with most of his pursuits won’t be right tackle Andre Smith. He’s out after practicing this week revealed his elbow injury is still limiting his strength.

Right tackle John Wetzel will get the starting assignment. He played well filling in for Smith last week at Los Angeles.

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