Cardinals notebook: Roster cuts a necessary evil for Kliff Kingsbury

Aug 30, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:06 pm
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Roster cuts are part of the job in the NFL.

But that doesn’t make them any easier for head coaches. Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury can tell you as much.

Tuesday’s 1 p.m. deadline for NFL teams to get down to that 53-man roster threshold has come and gone. Across the league, more than 850 players are now in search of new homes or looking to land back on the practice squad.

If there was ever a time not to envy an NFL head coach, it’s now.

“It’s tough. It’s the worst two days of the job, there’s no doubt,” Kingsbury said Tuesday. “A lot of great men, a lot of great people that deserve it, but there’s some deep rooms and sometimes numbers don’t make sense. It’s never fun.”

Kingsbury didn’t take this year’s cuts lightly, adding he was going to use all the time he had up until 1 p.m. to iron out the 53-man roster.

And even then, the work’s far from over.

While the 53-man roster is official, it’s anywhere but set as teams continue to look at other free agents and recently cut players. There’s a practice squad that also must be filled out. And you can’t forget about short-term injured reserve, either, which the team will use to its advantage.

“There’s two or three guys that we’re looking at as an option,” Kingsbury said. “It’s just a lot of semantics that go into it, trying to move a guy here and cut a guy for a day. Things of that nature. It complicates it a bit but I think the short-term IR gives some flexibility to your roster.”

Jonathan Ward, Antoine Wesley considered day to day

Two players that cracked the initial 53-man roster in running back Jonathan Ward and wide receiver Antoine Wesley are considered day to day, per Kingsbury.

Ward is dealing with a shoulder issue and is questionable going into next week, while Wesley is still dealing with a hip/groin injury that sidelined him for a good portion of training camp and all of the preseason.

“(Wesley’s) made big strides but don’t know when that’s going to be cleared to go,” Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury disappointed for Antonio Hamilton

Another name worth keeping tabs on is cornerback Antonio Hamilton, who suffered an undisclosed injury last week.

The cornerback was named a starter opposite Byron Murphy Jr. before the unexpected injury.

“It’s disappointing for him, just the journey that he’s had and how he’s worked and the level he was playing at,” Kingsbury said Monday. “You hate to see that and you hope he can stay involved and come back and not miss a beat.

“But I think more than anything, it’s more disappointing to him just because he had earned a starting role at the position after basically bouncing around a bunch of teams. Hopefully he’s back sooner than later but we’ll see.”

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Tyler Drake

Kliff Kingsbury on exchange with Kyler Murray: Both ‘want to get it right’

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury chalked up his heated exchange with Kyler Murray that was picked up by cameras on Sunday as a good thing.
9 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles' Miles Sanders scores a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game...
Associated Press

Behind Enemy Lines: Miles Sanders quietly starring for undefeated Eagles

Take a look at all the players getting credit this season for the Eagles' start and it's easy to see why Miles Sanders was overlooked.
1 day ago
Ian Thomas #80 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by Isaiah Simmons #9 of the Arizona Cardinals du...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons’ snap count sees serious jump vs. Panthers

It was a near-full team effort from Arizona, with 47 players seeing their number called at some point or another in Week 4.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater (5) watches his field goal attempt hit the goal post during th...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals weighing kicking options with Matt Prater banged up

Injured kicker Matt Prater represents a rather large question mark for the Arizona Cardinals entering Week 5.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 1...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals designate 3 players to return from IR

The Cardinals on Monday designated cornerback Antonio Hamilton, receiver Antoine Wesley and quarterback Colt McCoy to return from IR.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burn...
Jordan Leandre

By the numbers: Arizona Cardinals’ consistently inconsistent offense

The Arizona Cardinals have the most consistently inconsistent offenses in football through the first four weeks of the season.
1 day ago
Cardinals notebook: Roster cuts a necessary evil for Kliff Kingsbury