All-Access with Bruce Arians: Boone, Iupati, Nkemdiche all out
TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to gameday.
Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following practice.
“Out for the ballgame, (Alex) Boone, (Mike) Iupati and (Robert) Nkemdiche. He re-injured his calf yesterday. The rest of the guys will all be game-time decisions.”
Did Iupati have a setback?
“He’s probably going to have to have surgery. He had a bone spur that broke off that’s cutting his tendon and he was trying to play with it. He needs to get it done before it cuts it in half.”
What are you looking at time-wise?
“Probably eight weeks at the best.”
Your long-term solution at left guard then is what?
“Right now, we’ll just move the next guy up there. (John) Wetzel has played guard, he’s played tackle so we’ll move on from there.”
How about Boone?
“He’s probably two weeks. Tough enough he might play next week.”
He’s got a tear?
“He’s got a slight one.”
Iupati will go on injured reserve?
Is Deone Bucannon a game-time decision?
“’Buc’ is up, yeah, he’s up. He’s playing.”
What’s that going to mean for your defense?
“More speed, a lot more toughness because he brings a lot of heart when he plays.”
Will you ease him back in?
“He’s got certain packages and Haason (Reddick) has been playing well enough. He’s got his packages. ‘Bettch’ (defensive coordinator James Bettcher) has done a good job of getting both of those guys in position to do what they do best.”
What about John Brown?
“John’s up, he’ll be playing, yeah.”
Do you kind of ease him back in there?
“He can’t go out there and play 70 plays or he’ll be right back where he was, but he’ll be available and he’ll play.”
Really a mixed bag of news there on the injury front.
“Yeah, we’ll see at game-time and probably make a roster move between now and then.”
Where does the offense miss David Johnson the most?
“Every play. Either fake it to him, hand it to him or throw it to him. Andre (Ellington) has picked up the passing part. We’ve yet to get a blocking unit blocking well enough for any back who’s out there.”
How is Bucannon’s speed?
“Oh, it’s full. He’s running like normal.”
What’s the latest on J.J. Nelson?
“J.J. is just like last week, yep.”
With Nkemdiche, is the severity the same or worse from when he got hurt in training camp?
“It’s about the same. Probably one-to-two (weeks). He got over the last one pretty quick. He just strained it again pushing off somebody yesterday.”
Did you see what you wanted to with Jared Veldheer this week?
“Yeah, he’s worked really hard. We had a good day in pads and the guys on defense gave him a good luck. He’s just got to put that fire out.”
Does it change your thinking as a play-caller when your offensive line is so beat up?
“You got to try and put them in position to be successful. You don’t necessarily say you’re going to run the ball a lot because that don’t work either. They just got to step up and play. We always believe in the next man, that’s no bull, that’s the real thing. Your job is now is you’re a starter. Play like one.”
What about Will Holden on the offensive line, will he play inside or outside?
“He’ll be in there a bunch, too.”
How quickly has he picked up the offense?
“Really fast. He’s made the best of his opportunity playing tight end. He’s not a finished product, but he’s smart and he’s tough.”
Does D.J. Humphries start at left tackle?
“We’ll see, yeah.”