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Birdseed: Cardinals’ Red & White Practice observations, QB tracker

Arizona Cardinals running back Elijhaa Penny (35) celebrates his touchdown with Brittan Golden (10) and J.J. Nelson (14) as linebacker Gabe Martin (50) kneels on the ground during an NFL football training camp Saturday, July 29, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — For the second straight year, more than 25,000 fans attended the Arizona Cardinals’ Red and White Practice. Fans filled the lower bowl of University of Phoenix Stadium to watch what was over two hours of full-padded practice featuring goal line work and the first live tackling of camp.

RUNNING BACK BATTLE

The Cardinals kept four running backs going into the season last year. David Johnson, Chris Johnson, Kerwynn Williams and T.J. Logan appear to be the top four. That leaves Andre Ellington, Elijhaa Penny, and James Summers as the remaining three.

Penny was 250 pounds last year and currently about 235. He could be an option as a short-yardage back and is eligible for the practice squad. Ellington could be trade bait material for a conditional draft pick.

ARIANS ON ZAMORT BEFORE INJURY

Head coach Bruce Arians answered questions before the practice, including high praise for cornerback Ronald Zamort, who had risen to first-team status on the depth chart.

Zamort would, unfortunately, was carted off the field halfway through the practice after Arians had jokingly alluded to players getting hurt after being asked about by the media. It was reported Sunday morning that Zamort tore his ACL. The team signed veteran cornerback Tramon Williams Sunday night.

Q: What have you seen out of Ronald Zamort?

Arians: “You guys keep asking about individual guys, and they keep getting hurt. You and Josh (Weinfuss) are 2-for-2 so if you get this one, you’re done. Ronnie’s having a hell of a camp. He had a good camp last year, went right to the wire. He’s better outside; he was more of a nickel last year. But he’s really worked himself into the outside rotation and is really solid. He’s having a great camp.”

Q: How much should we read into him working with the first team defense instead of Brandon Williams?

Arians: “Whatever you want to read into it. He’s playing with the first team instead of Brandon.”

QB TRACKER

Here’s a look at how the three Arizona quarterbacks threw the ball during the practice Saturday.

Carson Palmer: 1-for-2, Johnson tipped pass INT (first unit)
Palmer: 4-for-4 – Jaron Brown caught tipped ball, Gresham, Fitzgerald, Johnson.
Palmer: 3-of-3 – Fitzgerald TD, Fitzgerald TD, C. Johnson TD.
Palmer: 1-of-2 – Fitzgerald TD, PI on Fitzgerald in the end zone.
Palmer: 3-for-5 – K. Williams with a drop, B. Golden, PI on Peterson on a deep pass to Nelson, B. Golden, Penny.
Palmer: 2-for-2 – Valles, B. Golden.
Palmer 0-for-1 – Gresham with a drop.

14-for-19, four touchdowns, one interception

Drew Stanton: 0-for-2 – tipped pass INT (second unit)
Stanton: 2-for-4 – Ross, Baker with pass break up, Gray pass break up, Bundy.
Stanton: 3-for-3 – Ross TD, C. Johnson TD.
Stanton 3-for-5 – Momah, drop by Ross, C. Williams, C. Williams.
Stanton: (goal line).

8-for-14, two touchdowns, one interception

Blaine Gabbert: Scramble, reverse (third unit).
Gabbert: 1-for-3 – (threw behind WR) Scramble, dropped ball by Logan, Logan.
Gabbert: 1-for-1 – scramble, Hogan TD.
Gabbert: 1-for-1 – G. Christian.
Gabbert: 1-for-1 – C. Williams.
Gabbert: (Goal line).

4-for-7, one touchdown, one interception

All three quarterbacks combined to go 26-for-40 with seven touchdowns and two interceptions during the practice.

Undrafted QB Trevor Knight didn’t get a single snap during the 11-on-11 period.

OTHER NOTES

– Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals add another tight end sooner rather than later or wait for the cut-down date after the final preseason games. They’ll likely keep three on the active roster. Jermaine Gresham and Troy Niklas are both listed as starters.

– Two players need to get back on the practice field. Outside linebacker Alani Fua and defensive tackle Ed Stinson are both in jeopardy of costing themselves a roster spot down the road.

– Logan had issues with ball security, and on Saturday, his helmet flew off three different times. They used him on the goal line, where he showed his quick first step.

– Swing tackle John Wetzel has size 19 cleats. Since the team’s move from St. Louis, only Leonard Davis had bigger shoes at size 21.

Follow Mike Jurecki on Twitter

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