Cardinals, Titans practicing smarter, not harder ahead of Saturday
TEMPE — It’s on to Tennessee for the Arizona Cardinals.
But instead of two days of joint practices with the Titans before Saturday’s Week 3 preseason game as originally planned, the two sides are cutting back on their field time together.
The reasoning behind the switch? Injuries.
“I asked for it,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. “I called (Titans head coach Mike Vrabel) and asked for it just with where we’re at health-wise. He was kind of in the same mindset at this point. ‘Let’s get in there, have great competition and get out healthy.'”
Instead of having two days of work together, the plan now is for limited but competitive periods on Wednesday, where each side works on its own before coming together at different points in practice.
“Not just a knock-out, drag-out type practice,” Kingsbury said. “I think we’re both in the same situation, got some guys banged up but want to get that competitive fire going.”
On Thursday, the Cardinals are scaling things way back with a mental day for everybody before a walk-through on Friday.
The Cardinals are currently dealing with a long list of injuries, most notably along the offensive line. On top of a handful of starters in Will Hernandez (ankle), Rodney Hudson (knee) and Justin Pugh (stinger) dealing with some sort of injury issue, rookie Marquis Hayes is still “a week or two” out from his return from a minor knee injury.
In an effort to combat the injury woes, the team on Monday even went as far as trading for former Buffalo Bills OL Cody Ford for added depth in the room.
But getting work in with the Titans isn’t the only thing Arizona is focused on over the next few days away from Arizona.
“I want it to be some camaraderie and team-building type stuff,” Kingsbury said. “We’ll have some events and do some stuff together. Obviously, we got to be smart but I think it will be a good trip for those guys to be around each other, come together some and break it up a little bit.”
Just don’t ask the head coach to scour the bars for his players at 3 a.m. He’ll be asleep by 9.