Cardinals QB Josh Rosen would ‘love’ as many reps as possible vs. Broncos
TEMPE, Ariz. — With the Arizona Cardinals roughly 48 hours away from their final preseason game, there are still plenty of position battles to be decided. Some of those battles tend to fly a little under the radar to the casual fan, but there’s always a focus on who’s playing quarterback.
And it turns out the Cardinals still have a dilemma there.
Not in terms of who the No. 1 is, of course. Sam Bradford has been the guy all along, and he’s done nothing this preseason to dissuade his coaches or teammates from feeling that way.
The dilemma centers around the guy behind him. Josh Rosen’s status as a first round draft pick at quarterback might typically be enough to earn him a rest in the preseason finale.
But this situation is a little different after Rosen, who will be a game-time decision Thursday against the Denver Broncos, missed the third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday with a thumb injury. That’s because Rosen may very well be the first option off the bench if Bradford goes down at any point during the regular season.
For his part, Rosen wouldn’t mind getting some more work in before the regular season begins.
“I think all reps are good reps,” Rosen said Tuesday. “I’d love to take as many as possible because, obviously, that’s how you get to learn the offense best.”
Rosen said he could stand to improve the timing and the other intangibles that come along with getting more comfortable in live-game scenarios at the NFL level.
“Just continually to feel the pocket and get behind center and call cadence and call plays,” Rosen said. “I mean, we’ve got different colored jerseys in practice so you never really fully get a complete rep and throw the ball and get hit and everything. So all those are valuable and, obviously, you want as many as you can.”
A few more reps would do Rosen good, and that gives head coach Steve Wilks a compelling reason to run him out there for at least a series or two against the Broncos. In a perfect world, at least.
“I’d like to based off the things he didn’t see last week,” Wilks said. “I think, as a rookie, the more and more you see different looks — particularly, you know, a 3-4 defense — I think it’s important, because he’s going to be able to see that throughout the year.”
On the other hand, the Cardinals don’t want to risk injury to someone they may have to lean on when the games really matter; especially in the fourth preseason contest, where many of his established teammates will be sitting, potentially including the first team offensive line.
To that end, it’s still not a given that Rosen lines up against the Broncos. But at least that thumb appears to be healing.
“He looked well,” Wilks said after Rosen practiced Tuesday. “I thought he threw the ball well. He didn’t have a problem as far as taking it under center, the snap. I thought his execution was on point. It’s still up in the air whether or not I want to play him. I want him to go through the week and see how he feels, and I’ll make that decision on game day.”