Cardinals praise team build, toughness to overcome injuries

Oct 12, 2021, 4:49 PM
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a touchdown catch against Cardinals corn...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a touchdown catch against Cardinals cornerback Robert Alford (23) during NFL football training camp practice, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals seemingly had a cornerbacks issue going into Sunday’s game.

Starter and standout Byron Murphy (ribs) was ruled out on Friday, and Marco Wilson (ribs) was eventually held inactive after being deemed questionable.

But Robert Alford and backup Antonio Hamilton stepped up when called upon, and they helped the defense hold back the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s 17-10 win.

“This team that they built during training camp is very special,” Alford told the media on Tuesday. “Marco and and Murph were down, and Jace (Whittaker) and Hamilton stepped up and of course myself stepped up this Sunday in their in their shoes … It just shows that this team is very special and they built this team in the right way from top to bottom.”

On Sunday, the Cardinals offense struggled to get going and the San Francisco 49ers seemingly had the momentum in the fourth quarter.

But both sides of the ball stepped up late to put the 49ers away and improve to 5-0. It showed a toughness that the Cardinals strived for leading into this season.

Multiple Cardinals players credited the front office for the makeup of this team. Veteran left tackle D.J. Humphries said that there has not been a case where someone disturbed the team’s chemistry.

“I think that’s when you give a shout out to the guys (general manager) Steve Keim and (vice president Adrian Wilson) and guys upstairs,” Humphries said Tuesday. “They do a good job of bringing in people that are like-minded in what we have going on here in the building, so we haven’t come into that issue. And I think that we have the type of group that is so welcoming and so open to conversation, that would be something we’ll be able to nip in the butt pretty quickly.”

The organization has benefitted from its offseason acquisitions and re-signings thus far, which has provided depth with veterans who have brought more leadership to the locker room.

Alford was one of those re-signings, after he was released in March following two lost seasons to injury. He was particularly effective on Sunday, only allowing one receiving yard when targeted, per Pro Football Reference.

Center Rodney Hudson, defensive end J.J. Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green among others have received high praise among their teammates after joining the Cardinals during the offseason.

Humphries said that he sees a similarity between this year’s team and the 2015 squad that reached he NFC Championship.

“We’ve got guys that don’t really care about stepping on toes or hurting feelings because we are trying to achieve the same goal,” Humphries said. “I think that was the one of the main things I picked up from that (2015) group, we held each other accountable and everyone policed themselves and that’s something that I see similar here and it’s good.”

Being able to overcome injuries paired with having a tough and mature locker room have proven to be x-factors for the Cardinals so far.

Their mantra has been to go 1-0 each week, regardless of circumstance.

“I know for a fact that this team is not going to get complacent,” Alford said. “We’re going to continue to push each other each and every day.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Josh Mauro (69) tackles Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Will...
Wills Rice

Chandler Jones out Sunday, Cardinals elevate 4 players to active roster

The Cardinals elevated four practice squad players to the active roster as Chandler Jones remains on the COVID-19 list.
18 hours ago
Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis (28) is tackled by New York Giants free safety Jabrill Pepp...
Nicholas Hodell

ESPN’s Barnwell proposes Cardinals trade for Jabrill Peppers at deadline

ESPN's Bill Barnwell proposed the Cardinals trading for Jabrill Peppers with this year's trade deadline on Nov. 2 rapidly approaching.
18 hours ago
Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) is sacked by New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Coll...
Tyler Drake

Davis Mills, Houston Texans limp into Week 7 matchup vs. Cardinals

The Texans' well has run dry in the form of a five-game losing streak after picking up a season-opening win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt checks his face after running through a drill during practice Wednes...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt feels for Texans fans, ready to face former team

J.J. Watt undoubtedly has a ton of love for the city of Houston. Come Sunday, however, moving to 7-0 is the biggest thing on his mind.
2 days ago
Zach Ertz of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at First...
Kevin Zimmerman

Keim: Cardinals pursued Zach Ertz trade feeling they ‘had to make a move’

General manager Steve Keim felt that his Arizona Cardinals had no choice but to be aggressive after losing starting tight end Maxx Williams.
2 days ago
Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones interacts with Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Dan...
Arizona Sports

Texans-Cardinals injury report: Arizona TE Darrell Daniels, DT Rashard Lawrence out

The Cardinals are nicked up at tight end, on the offensive line and at linebacker as they prepare for Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
2 days ago
Cardinals praise team build, toughness to overcome injuries