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Camp K report: Murray up-and-down, CB Jones has opportunity

Arizona Cardinals CB Chris Jones catches a pass during the team’s practice Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, at State Farm Stadium. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kliff Kingsbury is not one to overplay things. Nor is he one to rail on one of his players to reporters.

So take his assessment of rookie quarterback Kyler Murray during an hour-long practice outdoors on Tuesday for what it’s worth.

“I think it was up-and-down. We did a little bit looser, kind of a call-it format. Had some ups, had some downs. I thought he operated fine,” Kingsbury said. “But it’s good. It’s a humbling game. It’s not always going to go your way. There’s a lot of factors that go into it.”

With the practice closed to the public and reporters unable to share their observations, here’s what else we learned from Cardinals camp on Tuesday, two days out from Arizona hosting the Oakland Raiders on ESPN.

Keep an eye on Chris Jones

Patrick Peterson’s work at cornerback will be scaled back in the coming weeks. Second-round pick Byron Murphy and vet Tramaine Brock are expected to slot into major roles in his place, but keep an eye on second-year pro Chris Jones in the next three preseason games.

The undrafted Nebraska product could very well be the next man up barring an injury to any of the three players ahead of him.

“Since I’ve watched him, he’s flashed, even in the spring,” Kingsbury said. “Big, physical, workman-like. He approaches his craft the right way and you like to see that. Excited to watch him play these next three weeks.”

Jones, who spent much of last season around the Cardinals but appeared in just two games, had three tackles and a pass defensed in the preseason game last Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Ever since I’ve got the opportunity to play in this league, it’s always been keep my head down, grind,” he said Thursday. “Just keep doing what I’m doing, just make sure I keep coming to work every day.”

Receivers mix still a question

Kingsbury still hasn’t hinted at what the wide receiver room could look like come the regular season. He’s not even set on a number.

“I think six, seven, somewhere in there,” the head coach said. “I think it depends how guys perform the last three weeks and what they can do in other areas. So we’ll see how that plays out.”

Three drafted rookies are expected to join Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald on the 53-man roster, and sixth-round pick KeeSean Johnson appears to be ahead of his young peers.

Second-round pick Andy Isabella is expected to debut in the preseason against Oakland after he missed the Chargers game with a minor knee injury, while fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler has lacked consistency making catches as a deep threat. He even dropped a short route against Los Angeles last Thursday.

Meanwhile, younger vets Damiere Byrd and Trent Sherfield have gotten the most run with the first team in the open practices over the last week. Falling behind all those players is veteran Kevin White, who remains sidelined with a hamstring issue.

“We just like to see him back out there performing and give himself a chance to compete and make the roster,” Kingsbury said of White.

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