Turkey skins and good times: Cardinals share their Thanksgiving traditions

Nov 25, 2021, 10:00 AM
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 12: Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals signals after makin...
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 12: Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals signals after making a defensive play during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Cardinals defeated the Titans 38-13. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

It so happens the Arizona Cardinals’ bye in 2021 falls on Thanksgiving week.

Not only are the Cardinals taking in the bye as a chance to recover from any ailments brought along by the season, they get an opportunity to refuel while sharing the holiday with those close to them.

It’s rarity that the two fall on the same week for coaches like defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who is planning on getting some rest, sleeping a little bit, playing some golf and eating some turkey on Thursday.

This part of year has usually been a busy one for Joseph. Growing up in Louisiana, during high school football playoff time he was on the field more times than not in late November. So getting both the bye and Turkey Day on the same week is a bit different for him.

“I’ve never had it off in the last 15 or 16 years,” Joseph said Tuesday. “It’s been always work, obviously, game week.”

Players like linebacker Markus Golden won’t get the chance to be with his family physically due to being out of state, but he’ll still be with them at heart while joining Corey Peters and his family for Thanksgiving.

“I used to love my grandmother’s cooking, I used to love to go home and eat my grandmother’s cooking, but of course, playing ball took that away from me so I don’t get to do that too much.

“Usually [on Thanksgiving I’m] just hanging out with the family and getting around laughing, talking with each other. That’s what I miss most. I ain’t gonna be able to go home this week but my mom she usually sends me pictures and stuff.”

For offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, his Thanksgiving looks a bit different, as he’s hosting his and his wife’s family for the holiday.

It’s a fun time for Humphries, who gets to make one his favorite dishes.

“My uncle Junior, my grandmother’s brother, taught me how to make skins from turkey skins, like pork rinds. … It’s where we get the idea from,” Humphries said. “Take the skin off, put it in a brown paper bag and put it in the microwave. … That was something we always used to do when I was younger. … I still do it now even in Arizona.”

There are no DNPs due to food coma in the Humphries household on Friday, either.

It’s right back to work with another holiday in mind.

“My wife’s grandfather always helps us decorate the tree and we always pick our tree after Thanksgiving, so the day after Thanksgiving we go out and pick our tree,” Humphries said.

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Turkey skins and good times: Cardinals share their Thanksgiving traditions