Cardinals attacking short week ahead of Packers game smarter, not harder

Oct 25, 2021, 6:45 PM
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk warms up ahead of practice Friday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Tempe. (Ty...
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk warms up ahead of practice Friday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals absolutely throttled the Texans on Sunday afternoon, burying Houston 31-5 to keep their undefeated streak alive for another week.

But there’s little time to sit back and enjoy win No. 7, with the Green Bay Packers coming into town for Thursday Night Football.

Players have to get over the win, heal up as best they can and get their mental right over the course of the next three days leading into Thursday’s battle between two of the top teams in the NFC.

Some like linebacker Markus Golden waste little time, getting after it right after meeting with the media postgame.

“Probably get in the hot tub, Epsom salt bath, stuff like that,” Golden said Sunday. “Might not go out to eat with my family after the game, stuff like that. Just locked in and getting ready for Thursday because we excited for it, everybody excited for it, so we gonna be ready.”

Still, cramming six days of game prep and recovery time into three is no easy feat.

No matter how a player tackles it, one thing is for certain: Use your time wisely.

“The biggest thing is who is able to recover the fastest and be the most prepared,” wide receiver Christian Kirk said Monday.

“It’s a lot of above-the-shoulder emphasis, making sure guys know their jobs, know their scheme, know what we’re trying to do, because you really don’t get much practice in.”

For head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the short week brings about finding that healthy balance of installing the game plan without over exerting his team.

The name of the game is getting through the week unscathed, though, that means compromising in other areas.

“Really just not being able to execute the plays at the tempo that you would like to and that you’re accustomed to,” Kingsbury said Monday when asked about what is difficult about short week prep. “It’s mainly walk-through, jog-through-type tempo. As a coach, you would like to see it full speed.

“You would like to see the timing. You would like to see the spacing of it, and you don’t get the best look at that. Everybody’s got to deal with it. The main thing is the player’s health and getting recovered and rested and ready to roll again in such a short amount of time.”

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