Arizona Cardinals add ILB Kamu Grugier-Hill, release Rodrigo Blankenship

Nov 2, 2022, 11:43 AM | Updated: 11:44 am
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) can't make the catch as Houston Texans linebacker ...

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) can't make the catch as Houston Texans linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (51) defends during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make a deal in the hours before the NFL’s trade deadline, but they did move quickly after it passed, agreeing Tuesday to sign veteran linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Arizona made the signing official Wednesday and to make roster room released kicker Rodrigo Blankenship with an injury settlement.

Blankenship spent two games with Arizona, going 4-of-5 on field goals in place of Matt Prater, who was limited this past week as he recovers from a hip injury. Prater is now the only kicker on the roster.

The Cardinals on Wednesday also signed defensive lineman Eric Banks and offensive lineman Rashaad Coward to the practice squad. They released offensive linemen Sage Doxtater and Danny Isidora in corresponding moves.

Grugier-Hill asked for a release from the Houston Texans and got one on Oct. 26.

He has 40 tackles with 4.5 stuffs as a six-game starter this season.

Last year was a career one for Grugier-Hill. He tallied 108 tackles with three passes defensed, three sacks, two forced fumbles and 13.5 stuffs.

With Arizona, he projects to join second-year pro Zaven Collins and third-year man Isaiah Simmons on specific packages — or be the first to fill in for one of those players if they are injured.

The Cardinals this season have leaned on a handful of inside linebackers along with those two first-round picks, including Ben Niemann (34% of defensive snaps), Tanner Vallejo (23%), Nick Vigil (16%) and Zeke Turner (4%).

Grugier-Hill, 28, is a 2016 sixth-round pick by the New England Patriots.

He was waived before his rookie year and latched on with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played 54 games over his first four NFL seasons. Grugier-Hill then spent 2020 with the Miami Dolphins and joined Houston for 2021 and the start of 2022.

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