ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals starting OL navigating handful of injuries in Week 5

Oct 5, 2022, 7:24 PM
Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals is introduced during the NFL game at S...
Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals is introduced during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chiefs defeated the Cardinals 44-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals got out of Carolina last week with a much-needed win to move to 2-2 and keep pace in a wide-open NFC West.

But the victory wasn’t without its casualties, most notably along the offensive line, with Justin Pugh exiting the matchup due to an elbow injury, and Max Garcia (toe), Rodney Hudson (knee) and D.J. Humphries (hamstring) all dealing with their injury issues to start the week.

The latest OL injury shuffle began against the Panthers and could very well continue in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It’s one of those deals where it’s going to be basically to the weekend before we know who can go,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Y’all saw who we signed, Billy Price, and that’s really as insurance to see who all can play and who can’t, numbers-wise.”

If Hudson can’t go on Sunday, Sean Harlow is the next man up at center. The same goes for Harlow at left guard if Justin Pugh is inactive. Rookie Lecitus Smith and Price can also play guard or center if need be. Danny Isidora, Koda Martin and Badara Traore are practice squad linemen that could be elevated and used as depth as well.

Regardless of who suits up, though, the OL room is more than confident in the group’s ability to get the job done against the Eagles. After all, it’s not the first time the group has had to tinker with things due to injury, coming off a season where the team rolled out a different offensive line combination on a regular basis due to injuries and COVID-19.

“The way we prepare and the way we have this team and the way I’ve seen it is the next man up is always ready to go,” starting right guard Will Hernandez said Wednesday. “Any guy that goes in there is going to give it his all, is going to follow everything that we’ve been doing and is engaged and it just needs to keep flowing.

“I think it was the perfect example last year. These guys were rotating like crazy at the O-line position and they still got it done. That’s what we’re expecting this year, too.”

Whoever lines up Sunday will be tasked with keeping up the momentum down in the trenches.

Per Pro Football Focus, Arizona sits ninth among NFL offensive lines heading into Week 5, up four spots from the week prior, and is seeing more success in pass blocking (71 grade) than in run blocking (56.3).

It’ll take a full effort from the line against an Eagles pass rush led by former Cardinal Haason Reddick that continues to get better with each week. Entering Week 5, Philadelphia is tops in the league in sacks with 16 to go along with 10 takeaways.

“They got a lot of really good players, they’re well-coached, they have a really good scheme and they play hard,” Hudson said of the Eagles defense on Wednesday.

Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals OL Justin Pugh warms up ahead of practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals OL Justin Pugh warms up ahead of practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Antwaun Woods runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Leki Fotu runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Leki Fotu runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen runs through drills during practice on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Victor Dimukeje runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Cameron Thomas runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Myjai Sanders runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Ezekiel Turner runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Wooten runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Ben Niemann runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Ben Niemann runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Ezekiel Turner runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Nate Hairston runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Jalen Thompson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Jalen Thompson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Jalen Thompson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Andrew Brown runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Antoine Wesley runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown warms up ahead of practice on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray looks on during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Trayvon Mullen runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr. runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Antoine Wesley runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr. runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Trayvon Mullen runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Jace Whittaker runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker runs through drills during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) The Arizona Cardinals' black alternate helmet during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

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