ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Andy Isabella determined to get back on field after ‘tough’ stretch

Sep 1, 2021, 2:06 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2021, 1:08 pm
Cardinals WR Andy Isabella (17) runs through drills while head coach Kliff Kingsbury (left) looks o...
Cardinals WR Andy Isabella (17) runs through drills while head coach Kliff Kingsbury (left) looks on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Of the three wide receivers the Arizona Cardinals selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, only second-round choice Andy Isabella remains following Tuesday’s cuts.

And after a slow start to his NFL career, Isabella’s spot on the initial 53-man roster was up for debate.

The offseason didn’t do him any favors.

Landing on the COVID-19 list twice over the course of training camp, 15 days in total, Isabella was left to sit at home while everyone else was competing for their respective jobs.

When he finally did make it out of COVID-19 protocols, another wrench was thrown into his plans in the form of Hurricane Ida.

After missing the first two preseason games, Isabella was poised for an extended look in the team’s finale against the New Orleans Saints.

But mid-flight, Arizona’s plane turned back around with the impeding hurricane approaching Louisiana. The Cardinals’ preseason came to an end and Isabella was left without any game tape.

“It sucks, the position I’m in,” Isabella said Wednesday. “I gotta really fight my way to get put on the field now. I was way behind, so it’s frustrating but I’m just doing what I can.”

Last season, Isabella recorded 224 yards and two touchdowns on 21 catches (35 targets). While the wide receiver set career marks in 2020, it still wasn’t the production many expected to see from Isabella in Year 2.

Luckily, Isabella’s ability to play multiple roles gave him a step up on his competition.

“His explosiveness, his speed, he can play inside and outside,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “Very conscientious player, can play special teams, can be in the return game, can be a gunner. There’s a lot of versatility there for kinda that slot that he’s in. Makes a lot of sense for us.”

Isabella will be the first to tell you he has underperformed relative to his draft position, which is why he attacked the offseason focused on taking that next step. It makes his absence during training camp that much more frustrating.

“Right now, I just got to work my way to get on the field, that’s my main concern,” Isabella said. “Can’t do much sitting on the sidelines.”

EXTRA POINT

— Isabella on fellow 2019 draft pick KeeSean Johnson’s release: “It was tough. I think this is what he wanted. He’s betting on himself and if he gets the right opportunity, he’s gonna kill it wherever he’s at, so I’m excited for him.”

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
1 day ago
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the game against the Los Ange...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The San Francisco 49ers

The offseason has twisted and turned not only for the Cardinals but for the rest of the NFC West. A look at the current state of the 49ers:
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
3 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
5 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
6 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
7 days ago
Cardinals’ Andy Isabella determined to get back on field after ‘tough’ stretch