Cardinals notebook: Trayvon Mullen ready for clean slate in Arizona

Sep 5, 2022, 3:53 PM
Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen (27) during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolp...

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen (27) during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. The Raiders have traded Mullen to the cornerback-needy Arizona Cardinals for a conditional draft pick on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, file)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, file)

TEMPE — It didn’t take long for Trayvon Mullen to find his way onto the field as a Raider.

Starting 26 games over his first two NFL seasons, Mullen proved he belonged.

But after five games played and two injured reserve stints due to a toe issue in 2021, Mullen fell out of both the Raiders’ rotation and their future plans, leading to his departure to Arizona via trade last week.

With a change of scenery, Mullen is looking to recapture the success he generated over his first two years in the league.

“I was excited. It was a big deal for me, coming to a team like this,” Mullen said Monday. “Great players, a lot of good defensive coaches, good staff. Just a new opportunity, new team, new state, just ready to get going.”

“In this line of work anything’s possible to happen,” he added. “I just control the controllables. That’s how I live my life and I was happy with the decision for the most part.”

On the tape, Mullen presents as a big, athletic corner who can get to where he’s going in a hurry while still bringing a physical aspect.

He does a lot of things head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Co. are looking for. Now, it’s about getting up to speed and 100% healthy.

And while he sounds like he’ll be ready to go come Week 1, Arizona isn’t done turning over stones in search of more help in the secondary, whether that’s in-house options like safeties Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker in a pinch or another outside hire.

“Definitely big to have guys like that who we feel like can cover in the slot if need be,” Kingsbury said of his safeties. “Emergency type backup plans but we got to get more depth there soon and we’re working on that.”

Arizona in “uncharted waters” with Hamilton injury

Antonio Hamilton’s freak cooking accident has the Cardinals stuck in the unknown.

Suffering second-degree burns to his feet, Hamilton will miss at least four games on the non-football injury list. When he is eligible to return from the NFI in Week 5, it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be fully recovered by then.

“We’re hoping walkthroughs here in the near future to keep the mental sharp,” Kingsbury said. “We do a bunch of walkthroughs in the indoor, but we’ll see.

“It’s uncharted territory for me and I think for a lot people around here to see how that’s all going to heal up and then the timetable on it.”

Jonathan Ward, Rondale Moore trending up

Running back Jonathan Ward and wide receiver Rondale Moore were back among their teammates as they continue their way back from injury.

Ward, who is dealing with a shoulder issue, is close to 100%, Kingsbury said Monday.

The running back appears set to re-enter his name in the mix for snaps in a highly competitive room.

“(James Conner) is going to play and we’re going to be smart with him and not wear him out,” Kingsbury said. “But those other guys have earned playing time as well.

“We’ll see how Ward fits in coming off that injury, but (Eno Benjamin) and (Darrel Williams) did a nice job this camp. And then (Keaontay Ingram) had a great preseason and we’re excited about his future.”

As for Moore, the wideout got in more work today than he had in previous weeks with an undisclosed injury.

Kingsbury expects Moore to progress throughout the week and is hopeful he’ll feel good by Sunday.

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