Cardinals’ Keim ‘aggressive’ with planned CB Johnathan Joseph signing

Nov 6, 2020, 9:47 AM | Updated: 7:49 pm
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball while being tackled by Johnathan Joseph #3...
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball while being tackled by Johnathan Joseph #33 of the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at Nissan Stadium on October 13, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim confirmed the team’s interest in former Tennessee Titans cornerback Johnathan Joseph while on with Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Friday.

“We’re always trying to look ahead and he’s a guy at a position that’s extremely hard to find,” Keim said. “He’s got a ton of experience in this league and his ability to play man coverage with natural anticipation is something — just from watching the film — he does a really nice job. Really good anticipating the ball from playing off, tackles and is a tough player. We’ll see where that goes.

“Again, with this COVID protocol, you’re just not really sure what positions you’re going to need so you just got to stay aggressive and continue to work the phones.”

The expected joining of forces was first reported by FOX 26 Houston’s Mark Berman on Thursday night.

Joseph, in the midst of his 15th NFL season, was in his first year with the Titans before they released the cornerback at the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday. He signed a one-year deal with the club in May.

In seven games played with Tennessee, Joseph accumulated 29 total tackles, an interception, five pass deflections and a stuff. He started all but one game for the Titans before being released.

Before joining the Titans this offseason, Joseph enjoyed a nine-year career with the Houston Texans. The cornerback played in at least 13 games each season for the Texans. In 133 games in Houston, Joseph recorded 482 tackles, 17 interceptions, four of which were returned for touchdowns, 118 passes defensed and five forced fumbles.

He was a back-to back Pro Bowler over those nine seasons thanks to his impressive play in 2011-12. Joseph combined for 101 tackles, six interceptions, returning one for a score, 25 pass deflections and a forced fumble in 29 starts. Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was Houston’s defensive backs coach from 2011-13.

Johnathan Joseph got his start with the Cincinnati Bengals as a first-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. In five seasons with the Bengals (67 games), Joseph reeled in 14 interceptions, returned three for touchdowns, and added 76 pass deflections and 273 tackles.

The news of the expected signing comes after cornerback Byron Murphy and outside linebacker Devon Kennard were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.

Due to COVID-18 protocols, Joseph won’t have the proper amount of time to quarantine to fill in for Murphy against the Miami Dolphins this week. He could, however, play in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills if he can get integrated into Vance Joseph’s system by then.

The 36-year-old could figure to be in line for some reps with how thin the cornerback room is for Arizona.

As it stands Friday, Kevin Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and De’Vante Bausby are the only other bodies at the position not named Patrick Peterson.

Kirkpatrick, however, has been bothered by a thigh injury and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday this week.

The Cardinals also have veteran CB Prince Amukamara on the team’s practice squad as he continues to get into game shape and up to speed on Arizona’s defense.

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