Devon Kennard still very much a part of Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 plans
TEMPE — Veteran linebacker and Valley native Devon Kennard was among the surprise cuts when the initial 53-man roster dropped last week.
With a handful of young players mixed in with known special teams ace Dennis Gardeck and Arizona Cardinals 2021 sacks leader Markus Golden, Kennard was on the outside looking in.
But right when it appeared Kennard’s time with his hometown team was coming to an end, the linebacker was brought back as a practice squad body. Not exactly the role many expected him to have on any NFL team but a role nonetheless.
Then things took yet another turn, with Kennard finding his way onto Arizona’s first depth chart of the year released Tuesday. It’s not a third- or fourth-string job, either, with Kennard backing up Golden when the Kansas City Chiefs come to town on Sunday.
“He’s earned that,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “We had a feeling he’d be activated pretty much each week and that’s where he wanted to be placed and that’s where we put him.”
Given Kennard is a vested veteran and doesn’t have to go through waivers, the Cardinals can promote him from the practice squad as much as they want ahead of the trade deadline.
The Cardinals do, however, run the risk of losing Kennard to another team if he decides to sign elsewhere after reverting back to the practice squad after a game.
Kennard enters Year 9 having played in at least 13 games in all but one season since 2014. Last season with Arizona, the outside linebacker recorded 24 tackles, two passes defensed and two QB hits over 15 contests (three starts).