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Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson, RB Andre Ellington inactive vs. Philadelphia

Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas tackles Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

With a season-high eight players listed either doubtful or questionable on the final injury report Friday, the Arizona Cardinals are far from a picture of health heading into their Week 15 primetime matchup in Philadelphia.

That’s not ideal knowing if the Cardinals beat the Eagles, then they’ll clinch the NFC West.

The good news, however, is that five of those players — tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee), cornerback Patrick Peterson (ankle), cornerback Jerraud Powers (calf), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle) and center Lyle Sendlein (knee) — will be in uniform and available.

Gresham returns after a one-game absence; Powers has been out each of the previous two weeks and Rucker three weeks.

Unavailable will be safety Rashad Johnson (ankle), running back Andre Ellington (toe) and defensive tackle Cory Redding (ankle).

Johnson did not practice all week, and as the so-called quarterback of the defense, his absence will be huge.

“I don’t want to imagine life without Rashad behind us,” Peterson said earlier in the week.  “He’s the one that gets everyone in line, that calls out the plays.  He understands the flow of the game.  Not that the other guys don’t, but to have that veteran leadership and mindset is a huge piece.”

The Cardinals, though, have the personnel to make up for Johnson’s loss.

“Tony (Jefferson) and Ty (Mathieu) and D.J. (Swearinger), they’re all fine at safety, so we got more than enough bodies if Rashad can’t go,” head coach Bruce Arians said.

Jefferson will replace Johnson in the starting lineup.

Ellington practiced, albeit limited, on Friday and “moved around pretty good,” according to Arians.

This will be his third straight game missed.

Rucker, meanwhile, is back on the sidelines for the fourth time in the past five games.
The remaining inactives are quarterback Matt Barkley, linebacker Shaq Riddick, tackle D.J. Humphries and nose tackle Xavier Williams.
For the Eagles, they are sitting quarterback Thad Lewis, wide receiver Jonathan Krause, cornerback Denzel Rice, linebacker Steve Means, offensive lineman Barrett Jones, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson and defensive end Brandon Blair.

Should the Cardinals win Sunday it will be their first division title since 2009.

“They know it’s a hat and a t-shirt.  I mean it’s a big game,” Arians said.  “When they have hats and t-shirts that’s a big, big game.”

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