Could Cardinals target tight ends, get a Golden boost vs. Rams?

Sep 14, 2018, 3:46 PM
Arizona Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (86) celebrates with Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gre...
Arizona Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (86) celebrates with Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec.10, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Titans 12-7. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Suffering such a flattening defeat to open the season left the Arizona Cardinals “salty,” defensive coordinator Al Holcomb said Thursday.

It could get a little more sweet if the team adds two energizing starters on Sunday for a Week 2 visit to the Los Angeles Rams.

While the Cardinals ruled out starting right tackle Andre Smith (elbow) and backup defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (toe) on Friday, head coach Steve Wilks left the potential returns of tight end Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) and Markus Golden (ACL) on the table. Both players have practiced all week on a limited basis and are listed as questionable.

Gresham or not, Arizona might be wise to key in on their tight ends this week.

In a 33-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday, Los Angeles picked off three passes but allowed 303 passing yards. One-hundred-eighty of those went to veteran tight end Jared Cook, who caught nine passes on 12 targets.

“They got matched up on linebackers a lot,” said tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, a second-year pro and former college receiver who has filled in for Gresham. “If I get my opportunity against a linebacker, I got to go in. Watching that game, just seeing how they went off — (Cook) especially — if you get matched up on a linebacker, you got to win.

“If I use my speed and my technique and my ability to get open, it’ll be a good game for me.”

Against a formidable Rams defense, a tight end who puts money in the bank by blocking for his running backs could kick-start the offense by helping the Cardinals set a tone that they didn’t produce a week prior. Gresham’s presence would be a positive addition in that regard.

“He doesn’t like catching the ball. He’d rather block,” running back David Johnson said. “When he gets going in the game, he’ll let you know he wants to run the ball. He’ll yell it out to the refs, to the other opponents, and he’ll definitely let us know.”

Added Wilks: “He brings great skillset on the field, his blocking and catching, but he’s a leader in that locker room.”

Golden trending positively

Golden not only returned to practice on a limited basis and looked good while doing so this week. Wilks began thinking about how to use him if he were active against Los Angeles.

Though the defensive end is listed as questionable, Arizona’s head coach remained optimistic he was more than close to returning.

“We got to be smart and limit his reps, put him in situations where he can be effective,” Wilks said Friday. “Whether that be on third down, trying to rush the passer, those are things to think about. Again, he’s a guy like Jermaine that brings a lot of energy, communicates well, high-energy guy, guys feed off him.”


— Patrick Peterson on the Rams’ passing attack that includes quarterback Jared Goff and receivers Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods: “The only thing I’d probably say what’s unique about the Ram’s passing game … they don’t really have a true identity for what they want to do in their passing game because I feel like they try to do what the defense is not good at. It’s really hard to try to get a beat on their passing game. We know the passing concepts, we just don’t know when they’re going to get them. Those guys do a good job of window-dressing things, jet motions so they make sure our eyes are all over the place.”

— Wilks called Smith week-to-week but added it’s “promising he’ll be back next week.”

— Of Smith’s replacement, John Wetzel, Wilks said: “I feel great about Wetzel. Had a pretty good camp, done some great things, has also played a lot of football for us around here.”

— David Johnson on backup running back Chase Edmonds: “Like Coach Kirby (Wilson) always says, he transfers from practice — what he does in practice — to the game and you can’t tell any different. The light doesn’t change him, he doesn’t panic or anything. He just goes out there and plays.”

— Wilks on Johnson’s status on the injury report (the RB was limited up until Friday with a back injury): “I talked to him this morning and asked him if he was fine. And he talked about some things he did in the weight room, and he was bragging a little bit there. So he’s ready to go.”

Life Changer Loans


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray reiterates need for pass catchers to stay locked in

Given Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's ability to make things happen on the fly, his receivers must remain focused throughout each play.
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Alex Weiner

Cardinals’ WR depth continues to be tested, Kingsbury confident in group

The Arizona Cardinals were down to four active wide receivers in the second half of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury: ‘We have to figure out exactly who we are’

The Arizona Cardinals rolled out another inconsistent showing offensively in a Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
2 days ago
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Dan Bickley

Cardinals continue mockery of home-field advantage in loss to Rams

Good football teams don’t lose seven consecutive home games, but the Cardinals haven’t protected the nest since October of 2021.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Hollywood Brown sets new career mark in loss to Rams

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray made it a point to target WR Hollywood Brown early and often against the Rams on Sunday.
2 days ago
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Arizona Sports

Rapid reactions: Arizona Cardinals kept from end zone in loss to Rams

Arizona Sports reporters, editors and hosts reacted to the Cardinals' Week 3 loss against the Rams at State Farm Stadium.
2 days ago
Could Cardinals target tight ends, get a Golden boost vs. Rams?