Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was pleased with how his defense responded following a second-quarter hit that forced cornerback Patrick Peterson out of Sunday’s 24-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
A hit by teammate Deone Bucannon drove Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin into Peterson, resulting in a possible concussion. The hit also briefly removed Maclin from the game.
“The concussion (protocol) is no different from Drew Stanton’s. He’ll go today for testing and we’ll see where he’s at later today at some point,” Keim told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday, adding that Peterson “was in good spirits” when he left the stadium Sunday night.
Before he was knocked out of the game, Peterson was having a tough time covering Maclin, who finished the day with 12 catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
But in Peterson’s absence, Keim said Arizona’s secondary rose to the challenge, including Antonio Cromartie, who picked off Philadelphia QB Nick Foles twice.
“When Pat went down with his injury, all those guys collectively stepped up, whether it was Jerraud Powers, Ty (Tyrann Mathieu), and Cro, obviously,” he said.
“They work well together. They’re extremely well coached by (defensive back coaches) Nick Rapone and Kevin Ross. Those guys I think are really the heart and soul of our defense.”
Keim said there were no additional injuries to report on defense, and defensive end Calais Campbell, who returned after missing two games with a strained MCL, didn’t suffer a setback.
“Calais came through the game fine. To have Calais back is a huge plus for us,” he said.
Keim said 33-year-old defensive end Tommy Kelly, who the Cards signed in late August, has been a key addition to Arizona’s front seven. Kelly helped keep Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy in check (83 yards on 21 carries) Sunday.
“When you look at a player his age, sometimes you get concerned about the amount of snaps he’s playing. He’s come in and done a phenomenal job,” he said.
“After having ACL surgery a couple years ago, some may have thought he was done at this point in his career, but he has been a breath of fresh air for us, not only his ability to stop the run, but he does a great job from the interior. It’s a nifty little pass rush with an arm over and a club, and he can run for a big guy. You saw that yesterday on one of the plays were he tracked Shady (McCoy) down on one of those misdirections.”