Trio of potential Cardinals starters expected to get some run vs. Bengals
GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up their final day of open training camp practices on Wednesday.
Next stop, Cincinnati.
Arizona kicks off preseason play Friday night against the Bengals, with the plan to get those further down on the depth chart more looks in a live-game setting.
Not all potential starters will take the game off, however, with head coach Kliff Kingsbury highlighting cornerback Marco Wilson and linebackers Dennis Gardeck and Zaven Collins as a trio of starting-caliber defenders that will see their numbers called on Friday.
The list of potential starters on the offensive ball remains to be seen.
“We’re going to play some guys that have a chance (to start),” Kingsbury said Wednesday. “Offensively, not too many guys (will play) that I think will crack that starting lineup.”
Looking at Cardinals’ first depth chart of the season — which is configured by expected participation for the Bengals matchup — the lone projected starter on offense listed with Friday’s first-team is offseason addition Will Hernandez.
Among the offensive players not expected to suit up is rookie tight end and second-round pick Trey McBride. Earlier in the week, Kingsbury said the plan was to have McBride make his preseason debut under the lights in Cincinnati.
Instead, a sore back and multiple rest days over the past week have led Kingsbury to pivot to next week’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.
McBride was not in uniform Wednesday and spectated from the sideline over the course of practice.
As for the players that will see reps on Friday, Kingsbury is keeping close tabs on how a certain rookie cornerback responds under the bright lights.
“Christian Matthew is a guy I want to see play live,” Kingsbury said of the seventh-round pick out of Valdosta State. “He’s gotten better each day.”
“Played at a small school but has come in and has really been diligent in attacking our scheme and the work ethic. Anything we ask him to do if he screws something up, he gets it right the next time.”
Despite it being preseason, a strong showing from Matthew could help sorting the depth of the cornerbacks room, especially after Kingsbury’s “the jury’s still out” comments regarding Wilson as an every-down starter.