Gameday leftovers: Arizona Cardinals’ thin CB room steps up vs. 49ers
Oct 11, 2021, 4:45 PM
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
The Arizona Cardinals entered Week 5’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers already behind the eight ball with starting cornerback Byron Murphy ruled out with a ribs injury.
Less than two hours from kickoff, Arizona would announce it would be down another starting corner in rookie Marco Wilson.
That left Robert Alford, Antonio Hamilton and Jace Whittaker to pick up the slack against a 49ers offense that features two capable pass catchers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
Four quarters later, the Cardinals walked out of State Farm stadium allowing a season-low 10 points and zero touchdowns through the air.
“Was really, really proud of Jace Whittaker, Antonio Hamilton and … Rob Alford, who’s not a young guy but been a veteran,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “It was really the most action he’s seen in over two years and those guys competed their tails off and really helped us win that football game so can’t say enough good things about them being ready to roll and prepared when the opportunity arose.”
Alford and Hamilton were on the field for 98% and 97% of the team’s defensive snaps on Sunday, while Whittaker saw 46%, all season highs.
Hamilton finished with six tackles, tied for the team lead. Alford and Whittaker combined for five tackles.
“Really proud of their effort,” Kingsbury said after the win. “Rob, most snaps, by far, he’s played in two years. Then Hamilton got here two weeks ago, and he went out there. They both competed their tails off.”
– Kingsbury on if he feels like he’s proven that he can win at the NFL level:
“I’ve always been of the belief it’s about the players. You have really good players, you’re gonna be a really good coach. Steve’s done a great job of bringing in pieces and building around a young quarterback and we’re just trying to get better each week.”