ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals center Rodney Hudson has unexcused absence from minicamp

Jun 14, 2022, 12:04 PM | Updated: 12:18 pm

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 19: Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares for a game ag...

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 19: Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares for a game against the Minnesota Vikings at State Farm Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson was not at mandatory minicamp that opened on Tuesday, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was an “unexcused” absence.

Kingsbury did not add any more details when he spoke to reporters after practice.

“We’re working through something with him,” Kingsbury said.

Hudson had not been attending voluntary OTAs.

Hudson is under contract for two seasons, where he will make a base salary of $10.9 million this season and $8.3 million in 2023.

Kingsbury said that rookie Lecitus Smith, a sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, as well as left guard Justin Pugh are taking reps at center.

Last season when Hudson was injured, Sean Harlow and veteran guard Max Garcia, who is no longer on the Cardinals, filled in at center.

Cardinals right tackle Kelvin Beachum on Tuesday told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke that he is hopeful Hudson and the team can work out whatever issue is at play.

“As far as I know he’s doing well,” Beachum said. “Just had a son not too long ago, has a young daughter so he’s putting family first as any father would, and I would say that the rest will be handled between him and the organization. Know that he’s in good spirits and excited to see what comes from it the next couple of weeks.

“Anybody who’s played as long as he has understands the game, understands protections, understands how to put the offensive line in the best position to be successful,” Beachum added of Hudson’s value. “Knows how to communicate not only with the offensive line but also with our quarterback … He’s a leader in many rights, not only on the football field but also within the film room and making sure we’re all thinking and looking at the protections, at the plays, at the run game, all the same way.”

The Cardinals traded a third-round pick to acquire Hudson and a seventh-round choice before the 2021 season. The sides agreed to a three-year, $30 million extension that added two years to his deal set to expire this offseason.

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