ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kingsbury: ‘Big week’ ahead for WR Andy Isabella; OL Winters, Murray return

Aug 23, 2021, 3:07 PM

GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals got noticeably healthier Monday in the final week of the training camp at State Farm Stadium.

While newcomer J.J. Watt will have more than enough eyes watching his every move, as the defensive lineman finally gets some practice reps in, he won’t be the only player under the microscope this week with wide receiver Andy Isabella clearing COVID protocols Monday.

The week represents an important stretch for Isabella, who is fighting to secure one of the final roster spots up for grabs within the wide receivers room.

“I’d say it’s a big week, he hasn’t had any preseason action yet and that’s important to see how he responds in the game and I expect him to play a lot on Saturday,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

Despite Kingsbury’s belief that Isabella would make the Cardinals a better team offensively, the type of production the head coach envisioned has yet to take form. The wideout enters Year 3 of his career with 413 yards and three touchdowns on his NFL resume.

His absence this training camp hasn’t helped matters either.

Since the team opened camp, Isabella has been placed on the COVID list twice, with his most recent stint starting on Aug. 11.

As a result, Isabella has been sidelined for both preseason games and has missed crucial practice time, allowing fringe players like Andre Baccellia and Antoine Wesley added opportunities to make their case for a final roster spot.

“We’re gonna see how it all plays out,” Kingsbury said last week. “It definitely doesn’t help the development, didn’t have a preseason last year.

“We would have liked him to get to play in these games, unfortunately he hasn’t been able to but Kyler said it — he’s smart, knows the system inside and out. Can play inside, can play outside, so as far as understanding what we’re trying to accomplish, he won’t miss much.”

Starting RG competition to heat up with return of Winters, Murray

For the most part, the Cardinals starting offensive line is set.

The only question mark is at starting right guard, a spot that has been filled for most of training camp by second-year lineman Josh Jones. His competition, Brian Winters and Justin Murray, have been sidelined due to their respective ailments.

But after prolonged stints on the sideline, both Winters and Murray are back out practicing with the team to start the final week of training camp. The hope is that when camp breaks, they’ll be full-go.

“They got to get back into it and start competing and we’ll see where they’re at,” Kingsbury said Monday. “But we know they can both play at a high level. They’ve both done it, it’s about knocking the rust off and getting rolling again.”

As of Monday, Murray is slotted as the team’s starting right guard, with Winters pegged as his backup.

And despite being the team’s starting right guard for the first two preseason games, Jones sits behind Kelvin Beachum at right tackle.

“We got a bunch of guys that are competing and we’re a room that kinda thrives off that — playing hard and being competitive with each other in between the room,” left tackle D.J. Humphries said Friday. “I think it’s something that’s just making us better for sure.”

EXTRA POINTS

– Safety Chris Banjo will remain out this week after missing time last week due to injury, per Kingsbury.

– Chandler Jones and Markus Golden are expected to be back at some point this week.

– Tight end Maxx Williams was back at practice Monday after missing time due to an illness (non-COVID related).

Comments

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' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
1 day ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
2 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
3 days ago
Kingsbury: ‘Big week’ ahead for WR Andy Isabella; OL Winters, Murray return