Arizona Cardinals OL injuries a key factor in trade for Cody Ford
TEMPE — When the news came down that the Arizona Cardinals swung a trade ahead of their trip to Tennessee, many expected it to center around one of the team’s thin position groups on defense.
Instead of trading for a veteran cornerback or outside linebacker, the Cardinals on Monday added former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Cody Ford.
You don’t have to look far for the reasoning behind the move.
“We see him playing inside with the ability in a pinch to play tackle,” Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. “Some of the injuries we had inside there, we felt like it was a position we could get some more depth. He’s a very physical player and we like the tape.”
Among the linemen dealing with injuries are starting guards Will Hernandez and Justin Pugh.
Hernandez, who was on the field during the open portion of practice on Tuesday, is working his way back from an ankle issue. Kingsbury is hopeful he will return next week.
Pugh, on the other hand, is being evaluated for a stinger. Fellow guard Justin Murray has also dealt with injuries this offseason.
Adding to the injury pile is rookie Lecitus Smith, who has spent time at center and guard and was banged up in the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night. He was back on the practice field Tuesday.
Fellow rookie guard Marquis Hayes is a “week or two” away from returning from a knee issue, per the head coach.
A good sign for the #AZCardinals OL:
Both Rodney Hudson and Will Hernandez took part in the team’s open portion of practice on Tuesday.
Rookie Lecitus Smith, who was banged up on Sunday, was also out there. pic.twitter.com/3FcBkPYODD
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) August 23, 2022
Adding Ford not only provides the team with much-needed depth, it gives Arizona another big body with starting experience in the OL room. Over 38 games played over his three-year career, Ford has 29 starts.
The already established relationship with quarterback Kyler Murray, who played with Ford at Oklahoma, doesn’t hurt, either.
“He lobbies for the OU players so if you see that he played at OU, there’s going to be some lobbying going on,” Kingsbury said. “But no, when he was coming out, (Murray) was definitely high on him having played with him and his attitude, his toughness, his physicality. So he’s happy.”
— Starting center Rodney Hudson was back among his teammates for the open portion of practice on Tuesday.
Hudson has been slow-rolled back into things since announcing his intentions to return for another season. He’s also dealt with a knee issue this offseason.