Dealing Cards: Drew Stanton wants to play, Tramon Williams the perfect fit
TEMPE, Ariz. – All quarterback Drew Stanton has ever wanted is an opportunity. He hasn’t had many — only 15 starts in 11 seasons — but he has one now with the Arizona Cardinals.
Two starts into said opportunity, however, and Stanton is dealing with an injury that may prevent him from a third straight start coming up this Sunday at Houston.
Stanton was on the practice field once again on Wednesday, albeit as a limited participant, after spraining his right knee against Seattle last week.
“I feel good, I feel really good,” he said. “(Did) a little bit more each day. I think just being smart with it and seeing how it responds, and both days have been successful thus far. I think that’s the goal each and every day. It’s one of these things that you don’t know when it’s going to start feeling better or whatnot, but I don’t’ want to push it too hard.”
Backup Blaine Gabbert “took the majority of snaps” the past two days, according to head coach Bruce Arians, though, Stanton “has made really nice progress, more than I thought he would.”
Arians added he won’t make a decision on a starter until after practice on Friday.
That leaves Stanton two days to convince Arians he should be the one under center in Week 11.
“I’m not going to count myself out,” Stanton said, “ and I think that with the help of this training staff and everybody around here, if that’s in the team’s best interest and I can go out there and help, then I want to do that. If it’s not, then Blaine will go out there and do a great job.”
In two starts, a win at San Francisco and a loss to the Seahawks, Stanton has completed 50.6 percent of his passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
“I want to play,” he said. “But, I also need to remove myself from the situation and say, ‘Is this what’s best for the team?’ and trying to help us get back to .500, because at the end of the day, we all have to be short-sighted right now. We have to just win one football game against a really good defense that we’re going up against.”
Tramon Williams the ‘perfect fit’
Against Seattle, cornerback Tramon Williams accounted for three of the six passes defensed by the Cardinals’ defense. He also had three tackles.
It was a performance that Pro Football Focus graded (91.5) as the highest of any cornerback in Week 10.
“He’s the perfect fit opposite Pat (Peterson) right now,” Arians said.
Told of those comments plus the ranking by Pro Football Focus, Williams, sitting at his chair in front of his locker, smiled.
“Any time you get mentioned by your peers, that’s always the top level of what you want to hear but anything else, anything from outsiders or whatnot, I really don’t pay much attention to,” he said Wednesday.
Since replacing Justin Bethel in the starting lineup three games ago, Williams has recorded 17 tackles, including 10 against the Rams in London, and five passes defensed. He leads the team with six total pass breakups.
Williams credits the success to being aggressive in his coverage.
“I like to play chess so I like to play a chess game out on the field. I like to give a lot of different looks,” he said. “I don’t like to do the same thing, and I’m having a lot of fun doing it so that may be the difference.”
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for Williams. He played in the first two games and then sat out the next three, including being inactive against the 49ers in Week 4.
“At the end of the day, I feel like I can only control what I can control. And I couldn’t control what was happening early without me playing but what I could control is handling it the right way and that’s what I did. I handled it the right way, helped the guys who needed help, helped Bethel and anybody else who needed help (or) had questions and went from there because at the end of the day, it’s much bigger than me,” Williams said.
“It’s a team game. We’re trying to win, and if I’m being selfish and pouting that I’m not playing and all of this, it could be an effect on the team so the last thing I want to do is affect the team.”
Corey Peters sidelined
Stats don’t tell how valuable defensive lineman Corey Peters has been this season. Yes, he’s put up numbers — 25 tackles, seven for loss, along with one sack, nine quarterback pressures and five quarterback hits — but he’s also drawn attention from multiple blockers, thus freeing up others to make plays.
Peters did not practice on Wednesday, and he will not play this week due to a high-ankle sprain. In fact, Peters is expected to miss “a little bit of time,” according to Arians.
With Peters sidelined, Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams, who is healthy once again after missing the past two games, will see their roles increased.
“Those two guys will just rotate and roll it,” Arians said.
Aside from Peters, linebacker Karlos Dansby was the only other Cardinals player who did not see the practice field on Wednesday. Dansby’s absence, however, was not injury related. He was given the day off.
Listed limited were wide receiver John Brown (back), center A.Q. Shipley (shoulder) and tackle John Wetzel (back).
The Texans had three players not practice: linebacker Dylan Cole (hamstring), tackle Julien Davenport (shoulder) and wide receiver Will Fuller. Reports out of Houston have Fuller not playing against the Cardinals on Sunday.
- First round of NFL Draft promises to deliver pure drama
- 98.7 FM roundtable: What should the Cardinals do at No. 1?
- N’Keal Harry: ‘There’s no way’ Cardinals let him slide past pick No. 33
- 98.7 FM roundtable: What will the Cardinals do at No. 1 in the NFL Draft?
- Arizona Sports NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Who’s next for the Cards at No. 1?