Dealing Cards: Players are bored, and D.J. Humphries returns
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Friday will mark four weeks since the Arizona Cardinals reported to training camp. And they’ve still got another week to go.
Several teams like the Chicago Bears, whom the Cardinals host Saturday, have already broken camp. That’s not to mention they began camp well after Arizona.
“They’re getting bored with each other, looking more forward to games,” head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday, prior to the team’s 17th practice at University of Phoenix Stadium.
No question training camp is a grind, moreso this year with the Cardinals playing an extra preseason game. By the end of August, they’ll have played five times and traveled back-and-forth six times, including a trip back East.
“It’s tough. We’re kind of hitting a wall,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “I think the biggest thing is a lot of guys just want to sleep in their own beds. We started camp a week earlier than everybody else and we’re still here. We got about eight, nine days left so just got to finish strong.”
Even quarterback Carson Palmer, who enjoys practice — “I look forward to it, I can’t wait for 2 o’clock,” he said — admitted the monotonous of camp is beginning to wear on the team.
“Oh, no doubt,” he said. “You’re in a hotel, eating hotel food for a month. You got a roommate. There’s a lot of things that you got to fight through [in] training camp. That’s what training camp is. I think it hardens you. It makes you a better team the more time that you spend around each other, but there’s no doubt guys are waiting for next Thursday, counting down the days.”
Looking like Michael Jackson
For the second time in as many practices, Palmer wore a glove on his left hand, his non-throwing hand.
“I like to tinker with things,” he said. “Just kind of seeing how I like it. I ended up doing it, I think, the last two games last year so I’m just experimenting.”
And now, of course, would be the time to do such experimenting.
According to Palmer, the one benefit to wearing a glove is a better grip.
“It’s kind of like cheating. Those things are so sticky now,” he said, referring to the footballs used.
Quarterbacks wearing gloves is not a new thing. It wasn’t that long ago in which another Cardinals quarterback had his hands covered; though Kurt Warner, the recent inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, had gloves on both hands late in his career.
Palmer is choosing to practice with only one glove on his throwing hand.
“I’ve done it before in below-zero temperatures with 30-40 mph winds. It helps you spin it a little bit,” he said. “Personally, I feel like you lose a little bit of touch, but depending on the weather there’s some situations that it can help and so that’s why. It’s August, so I like kind of tinkering with things right now, and if we go to Philly (Oct. 8) and we have a crazy wind game, weather game, whatever it may be, it’s something I have experience with.”
Back at left tackle
Limited to strictly individual drills the day before, left tackle D.J. Humphries ramped up his work and appeared to practice fully on Wednesday. It was his first action in more than a week after dealing with a hamstring injury.
“I’m definitely close, I’m definitely close,” Humphries said. “This whole situation kind of taught me to listen to my body a little bit and understand you’re not in college anymore. It felt good today. There was just a couple of movements here and there I felt it but other than that, man, I felt pretty solid.”
Humphries called the week on the sidelines long, though he still was in meetings and participated in the morning walk-throughs.
Humphries is unsure if he’ll play against the Bears. It’s been hard, he said, to watch from the sidelines, especially last week when the Raiders visited.
“Even though them boys only played like 15, 14 plays, it was still like, ‘Damn, I could’ve got out there with those guys, man.’ They looked like they enjoyed themselves,” Humphries said. “It’s different when you don’t play at all in the preseason and you’re in your shorts, and you get to hang out with the guys and watch the young guys play. It’s definitely a different feeling.”
Another padded practice
A more physical training camp, something Arians had promised, continued with the Cardinals practicing in full pads for a third straight day on Wednesday. The good news is that the team wasn’t in pads long as practiced wrapped up inside of two hours: 107 minutes to be exact.
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Drew Stanton did not practice. They had the day off, as did safety Antoine Bethea, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and linebacker Karlos Dansby; though Dansby was spotted working with a trainer on the lower field. He had dealt with a knee issue earlier in camp.
Fitzgerald was scheduled to have Tuesday off but suited up anyway.
“I think he wanted to help lead his group,” said Arians, who has been critical of the wide receivers this week. “He takes care of his room as good as anybody.”
After making a strong first impression with a team-leading seven tackles against the Raiders, linebacker Josh Bynes hurt his hamstring, which is going to sideline him for up to a week.
“It sets him back,” Arians said. “He flashed, and like most guys you get off the street, they think they’re in shape but they’re not in football shape.”
Other players banged up who did not see the practice field Wednesday included receivers Carlton Agudosi (knee) and Brittan Golden (groin), linebackers Jarvis Jones (back) and Philip Wheeler (foot), cornerback Rudy Ford (hamstring) and defensive tackle Ed Stinson (hamstring). Deone Bucannon (ankle) remains on the physically unable to perform list.
Linebacker Markus Golden (foot) and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (ankle) returned to practice.
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