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Notes from the Nest: Cardinals back in town, Mathieu back on field

Safety Tyrann Mathieu smiles while walking with RB Andre Ellington during training camp Aug. 21. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals returned to their training camp home Sunday after spending the better part of a week in San Diego. In California, they had a pair of practices with the Chargers before facing off with them in a preseason game Friday.

The Cardinals lost that game, 19-3, and Sunday got back on the field to once again face their teammates. The team was in shells and there was some hitting, especially from Tyrann Mathieu, who seemed to be a bit amped up in his first practice of the season.

The Good

Mathieu was on the field practicing for the first time since tearing his ACL  in a Week 15 win over the Eagles last season. He was expected to take part in individual drills and little else but got some work in during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 portions of practice.

– Along with Mathieu, cornerback Justin Bethel and defensive lineman Frostee Rucker returned and saw a significant amount of work. Receiver John Brown practiced some, too, as he was finally cleared to return following a concussion early in camp.

– In 7-on-7, cornerback Brandon Williams did a nice job breaking up a pass.

– Safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Trevon Hartfield each came up with an interception during 7-on-7.

– Matt Barkley connected with Jaxon Shipley on a nice deep ball in 11-on-11.

– Andre Ellington made a really nice catch with Marqui Christian in coverage.

– Dropping back into coverage, linebacker Chandler Jones broke up a Carson Palmer pass that was intended for Michael Floyd.

– Cornerback Ronald Zamort batted away a Jake Coker pass in 7-on-7.

– Palmer found running back David Johnson for a short touchdown in the two-minute offense.

– CB Mike Jenkins broke up a pass early in 11-on-11 and then later in practice intercepted Palmer.

– Jaron Brown continued his excellent camp, coming up with a pretty sweet one-handed grab while being interfered with.

The Bad

– Tight end Jermaine Gresham seemed to have trouble holding onto some passes that should have been caught.

– Jaxon Shipley normally shows good hands but Sunday struggled at times to bring good passes in.

– Carson Palmer seemed to be a bit off, throwing high. Amped up, maybe?

– None of the QBs, really, were all that impressive. A lot of passes hit the ground.

Injury Report

No one appeared to leave practice with any new ailments. John Brown was not around for the finish, though it’s possible that was more to do with easing him back in than anything else. Deone Bucannon came up with a very slight limp after one of the final plays of the afternoon but walked off the field on his own and did not seem to be getting any extra attention.


Rookie guard Cole Toner got some work in on the left side with the first-team offense in place of Mike Iupati, who was out with an injury.

Mathieu slid right into his customary role with the first-team defense.

Josh Mauro also played some end in first-team work.


“I think the testing part is over with. I think that’s why you rehab and do all those kind of things. Like I’ve been saying all along, this is so much different than last time around. I’m pretty sure you guys know last time it was trouble. But this time around it’s pretty good, I felt great.” – Tyrann Mathieu on if he’s testing his knee and playing free

“Nobody is shaken in their confidence in any way. It’s preseason. I think the tendency is ‘woe is me,’ but when our starters have played 15 plays—no, 20 plays maybe, that’s not even a good half. We’ve had bad halves before and come back and won games. It’s not a doomsday situation by any stretch of the imagination.” – Bruce Arians on the team’s mood after another preseason loss

“It’s hard, especially being a competitor and coming in from last year and trying to fight for a starting spot; not being able to go out there and do that, it definitely sucks. But I’m taking my time so when I do come back I’m ready to go 100 percent.” – Justin Bethel on having to sit out so long

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