GLENDALE, Ariz. — It was hard not to leave Wednesday’s practice wondering why the Arizona Cardinals aren’t allowed to have nice things. Then again, injuries have hit teams all across the league, and as this is being written we’re not quite sure of the severity of the latest two to hit the Red Birds. Still, defensive lineman Corey Peters being carted away early in practice and then news that guard Mike Iupati may be out for a couple months that circulated during it cast a pall over the proceedings.
Anyway, the Cardinals were in shells as they inched a little closer to their second preseason game, a home matchup with the San Diego Chargers Saturday.
Drew Stanton was the team’s No. 1 QB as Carson Palmer was given the day off, and he responded with a pretty solid showing. The veteran connected on touchdown passes to John Brown and Jaron Brown, the latter of which was a perfect ball against good Patrick Peterson coverage.
Running back David Johnson looked exceptional in the passing game, catching a couple of touchdown passes. One came on a bit of a wheel route and it was thrown by Logan Thomas.
Thomas also connected with Ryan Spadola for a touchdown, with the receiver adjusting nicely to make the catch.
Rookie defensive lineman Rodney Gunter just destroyed right tackle Bradley Sowell on one play. Now, it’s possible Gunter was playing a little harder than his counterpart given the team was not in pads, but still, it was impressive.
Tight end Ifeanyi Momah also came down with a short touchdown reception off a Phillip Sims pass.
Early in practice, Peterson made an outstanding one-handed leaping interception of a Stanton pass.
Chandler Catanzaro connected on a 56-yard field goal during two-minute work.
Early in 11-on-11 Peters, who had been earning praise for his play, appeared to hurt his left ankle or foot. He was helped off the field but after a few minutes was taken away on a cart.
As alluded to above, word came out that guard Mike Iupati would likely undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, which could keep him out a while.
There were more incomplete passes than usual, but that can be attributed to Palmer not practicing.
This probably shouldn’t be in this category, but Tyrann Mathieu actually failed to pick off a pass that he could have. The ball was deflected by Deone Bucannon, but the Badger was able to get his hands on it before it bounced away.
The Injury Report
Any player with at least 10 years of experience (Palmer, Dave Zastudil, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Leach, Cory Redding, Frostee Rucker) was given the day off, though Fitzgerald spent some time throwing and catching passes while Leach handled long snapping duties. Not practicing due to injury were:
WR Michael Floyd (hand)
CB Jonte Green (hamstring)
LB Shaq Riddick (hamstring)
LB Sean Weatherspoon (hamstring)
OT Rob Crisp (knee)
OG Mike Iupati (knee)
It should be noted that Floyd was spotted running 100-yard sprints prior to practice.
With Iupati out, Ted Larsen received first-team reps at left guard.
Chris Johnson was still working with the second-team.
With Fitzgerald not practicing and Floyd still out, Brittan Golden moved into the No. 3 WR spot with the first-team offense.
David Johnson saw some first-team work, and looked especially good in the passing game.
Bradley Sowell continued to run with the first-team at right tackle.
Josh Mauro, normally a defensive end, got some time at outside linebacker during 7-on-7.
“See, that’s the thing about having good speed, a lot of people are like, ‘well, can he catch, can he run great routes,’ so that’s what I try to do, let my speed do my speed and then just come out and show that I can catch the ball, that I can run routes, I can get open, I can get separation. So I feel like me coming out doing that I guess opened up some eyes.” – J.J. Nelson on surprising people with his ability as a receiver
“We talk about that all the time. If we’re both on the same side, I mean can’t nobody guard us, can’t nobody cover us. It’s up to us, we’re both fast guys. So I feel like we’re dangerous out on the field together.” – J.J. Nelson on teaming with John Brown to form a speedy duo at WR
“We don’t tolerate it, whatsoever. If you even think about, just start running. If it’s a two-man fight, those two guys will run. We’ve had one incident in the last three years where we’ve had more than one. We just stopped and started running. It’s not tolerated here. There’s no place in the game for it. Coaches that believe that, they need to get new jobs.” – Bruce Arians talking about in-practice fighting
“To a point they probably weren’t because we weren’t really getting the yards, but they were making sure we didn’t get the running game going. They would stack the box on us because they weren’t afraid of us throwing the ball.” – Andre Ellington on teams not respecting their running game last season
The Cardinals will have a walkthrough Thursday morning and a practice at 2 p.m. We should find out more on the status of both Peters and Iupati when Arians holds his media briefing, which will likely be around 11 a.m.