A running thread of the Cardinals’ wide receiver performances Thursday
The Arizona Cardinals are still finalizing the wide receiver depth chart in the final game of the preseason.
In the first preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, there were only three receptions by receivers, two of which went to rookie Christian Kirk. The next week, the receivers were more productive, particularly Kirk and Chad Williams, who combined for seven receptions and 103 yards.
Last week, however, there were only six receptions by wide receivers against the New Orleans Saints.
On Thursday, Brice Butler and Greg Little started at the receiver positions against the Denver Broncos.
Quarterback Mike Glennon lofted a pass over a defender to hit wide receiver Trent Sherfield in stride over the middle for a 26-yard gain.
Sherfield, an undrafted rookie, has impressed with his special teams play, and he scored a touchdown last week after recovering a muffed punt.
This reception put the Cardinals inside the five-yard line and set up a two-yard touchdown pass to Little on a slant route.
Glennon went 3-3 with 30 yards on the drive, helping put the Cardinals ahead 7-0 early.
That was the only complete Cardinals drive of the first quarter.
After a 10-yard run from Elijhaa Penny, the Cardinals went three-and-out to complete a drive that began in the first quarter.
The only pass to a receiver was an incompletion. The deep route to Sherfield was out of the receiver’s reach as he failed to gain separation from the defender.
The next drive was a three-and-out. The only pass attempt an incompletion to Little.
Little hasn’t played a down in the NFL since 2014, when he had six receptions for 69 yards in six games for the Cincinnati Bengals. He made the Cardinals preseason roster after a tryout during rookie minicamp in June.
With less than five minutes left in the half, the offense got another chance.
Glennon connected with Sherfield for another long gain, this one for 18 yards.
That was all the offense could muster, though, as Glennon got sacked and the Cardinals were forced to punt with a 7-3 lead.
The Cardinals made one final effort with less than a minute in the half. Glennon connected with Butler for a 19-yard gain, but with five seconds remaining, it was too late to score.
In the second half, none of the wide receivers who have real potential to make the 53-man roster played.
Jalen Tolliver has impressed this summer, and he recorded a 20-yard reception from quarterback Chad Kanoff, but he appears to be on the outskirts.
The only other receiver who caught a pass from Kanoff was Corey Willis, who recorded an eight-yard reception.
Wide receivers Bryce Williams and C.J. Duncan were targeted, but neither caught a pass.
Kanoff went 3-for-11 with 42 yards. In addition to Tolliver and Willis, he completed a 14-yard pass to tight end Andrew Vollert.
Wide receiver stats
Sherfield: Two receptions, 44 yards
Tolliver: One reception, 20 yards
Butler: One reception, 19 yards
Willis: One reception, eight yards
Little: One reception, two yards, one touchdown
Williams: One target, no receptions
Duncan: One target, no receptions