The Arizona Cardinals got their fourth win of the season Sunday, beating the Washington Redskins 30-20 in front of a sold-out crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Cardinals find themselves all alone in first place in the NFC West after five games, but that isn’t due to a lack of adversity.
The team’s injury problems have been well-chronicled. Other players are playing through their own ailments, like cornerback Patrick Peterson.
The fourth-year pro out of LSU, who became the league’s highest-paid cornerback in the offseason, has been bothered by an ankle injury suffered last week against the Denver Broncos.
Peterson played Sunday, but wasn’t too effective, getting beat on two touchdown passes on slant patterns.
“I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent (healthy),” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “What I will say about Pat is I still have a tremendous amount of faith in his physical tools. When Pat gets into trouble, in my opinion, it’s a tendency to not focus and a lack of intensity for 60 minutes.
“I can guarantee you that’s something that Todd Bowles and Kevin Ross, our DBs coach, will clean up and have Pat ready to go next week.”
Through the first five games of 2014, Peterson has been beaten for five touchdown passes.
“When you don’t have a great edge rush and you have to cover for four and five seconds and you’re going against guys like DeSean Jackson and Demaryius Thomas, you can get exposed,” Keim said. “If you play 70 snaps and 65 of them are excellent, and five of them you get exposed, you can’t hide.”
ProFootballFocus.com has Peterson ranked sixth out of the eight Cardinals defensive backs they’ve rated this season. Keim is optimistic about the three-time Pro Bowler picking up his play as the year rolls on.
“We expect him to play at a high level and I think he’ll get things cleaned up here in the next few weeks,” he said.