Cardinals look for backups to step up in place of injured Jalen Thompson

Sep 19, 2020, 11:45 AM
Jalen Thompson (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Jalen Thompson (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It only took two plays for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday to lose a key part of their defense, forcing the team into a next-man-up mentality for the foreseeable future.

Second-year Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury and will be on the shelf for at least three weeks.

Veteran Chris Banjo and Deionte Thompson will be relied upon with Jalen out, while the Cardinals also signed Curtis Riley off the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad on Thursday to provide additional depth.

Banjo in Sunday’s season-opening win against the San Francisco 49ers came in and recorded three solo tackles with three assisted tackles.

“He (Banjo) came in and we didn’t have a letdown, came in and communicated on point, moved around great, eyes were awesome, tackled well,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said in a Zoom call with the media on Thursday.

Jalen’s absence was made apparent early on, however, as Raheem Mostert caught a pass from 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and proceeded to streak up the field for a 76-yard touchdown.

That score was the difference for the majority of the game until the Cardinals took the lead in the fourth quarter.

“(Jalen Thompson’s) best trait is open-field tackling, so we have to get Banjo and (Deionte Thompson) to replace (Jalen Thompson),” Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said on Thursday in a Zoom call with the media.

“We cannot let the ball run through the middle of the defense … that’s high school football,” Joseph added. “That can’t happen in this league.”

Peterson thinks the team will be able to handle the loss of Thompson by committing and believing in the system.

“If we continue to do that it should never be a drop off because we have great guys on each and every level,” Peterson said.

Joseph, meanwhile, hopes to keep Thompson’s football IQ in top shape during the absence.

“He’s in meetings every day and hopefully we can keep him around and keep studying, keep watching tape with him,” Joseph said.

Thompson had 57 tackles, three passes defensed, an interception and a fumble recovery last season in 15 games last season including nine starts.

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 running back Jonathan Ward (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Cincinnati B...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: Arizona standouts aplenty in win over Bengals

Arizona Sports' Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake and 98.7 FM's Erik Ruby give their top standouts in the team's 36-23 win over the Bengals.
2 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during the ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury ‘impressed’ with Kyler Murray’s play-calling

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury handed over play-calling duties to QB Kyler Murray in the team's 36-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
1 day ago
(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Victor Dimukeje, Trace McSorley pace Arizona Cardinals in rout of Bengals

Arizona Cardinals OLB Victor Dimukeje and QB Trace McSorley made the most of their opportunities in Friday's win over the Bengals.
2 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley looks for a receiver during the team's NFL football pr...
Kellan Olson

Trace McSorley throws TD in 1st preseason drive, Cardinals beat Bengals

The Arizona Cardinals' first series of the preseason was a positive one and they never looked back from there to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
1 day ago
Greg Dortch #83 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch while being tackled by Bookie Radley-Hiles #...
Kellan Olson

Greg Dortch keeps making plays for Cardinals with great grab, long return

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch has made big catches all camp long and he kept it going in his first preseason game this year.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andre Baccellia (82) pulls in a pass for a touchdown in front of Ci...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals WR Andre Baccellia ruled out due to ankle injury

Arizona Cardinals WR Andre Baccellia will not return in Thursday's preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals due to an ankle injury.
1 day ago
Cardinals look for backups to step up in place of injured Jalen Thompson