Out of office: Arizona Cardinals embark on bye week later than most

Nov 29, 2022, 6:55 AM

Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Hello, bye week.

After 12 weeks of ups, downs and everything else in between, the Arizona Cardinals get a reprieve from all the minutia and repetition that comes with the NFL schedule.

Following some film study to start the week, the Cardinals won’t reconvene on the season in person until next Monday, giving Arizona ample time to rest, recover and rejuvenate ahead of the final five games of the year.

Outside of a mandatory NFL Zoom meeting on Tuesday, it’ll be on the players to come back ready to hit the grindstone.

“They’ll just get away,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “We’ll have a program for them to stay on and stay in shape then come back and be ready to roll.”

“That’s usually been our plan (whether it’s) five, six or seven (days),” the head coach added when asked about giving the team additional days off. “We vary based upon when (the bye) happened in the season. … This is the first time we’ve had it this late, so we felt like that was the appropriate number.”

Only six other teams have a later bye than the Cardinals, who ironically share the same off week as the Steve Wilks-led Carolina Panthers.

It’s not just on the players to get in a better place physically and mentally, either, with the coaching staff needing to make its proper adjustments coming off a heart-breaking 25-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and the New England Patriots coming town in Week 14.

At 4-8, it’s on Kingsbury and Co. to latch onto what works and try to salvage something out of this disappointing season.

One area the Cardinals hope to expand on is the running game, especially after the success it had in the defeat.

Behind a stout offensive line and James Conner’s 25-carry, 120-yard effort, Arizona’s ground game was a thorn in Los Angeles’ side for most of the contest.

But while Conner shouldered the majority of the workload in the backfield, that might not be the case moving forward.

Kingsbury wants to make sure they are smart with the veteran running back over the final five games, potentially opening the door for rookie Keaontay Ingram to pick up some more reps. So far this season, Ingram has seen no more than 20 offensive snaps and has ran the rock 21 times for 52 yards and a touchdown in seven games played.

“We’ll see how James is feeling and if we can get Keaontay Ingram more involved there, but we’ll continue to try and maximize the personnel we have,” Kingsbury said.

“I thought we ran the ball decently (Sunday) which was good. I thought we played physical up front. It wasn’t always pretty but we had some nice runs and nice gains, so we’ll try to build off that.”

And on the other side of the bye, potential reinforcements await.

“We’re hopeful for (Will Hernandez or Rodney Hudson),” Kingsbury said when asked if any injured offensive linemen could make it back onto the football field after the off week. “I don’t know what that’s going to look like but hopefully one of the two at some point in the near future we can get back in there.”

Cardinals Corner

Jonathan Gannon looks on...

Tyler Drake

What does Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon look for in an NFL schedule?

The NFL's annual schedule release parlays quickly into way-too-early predictions. For Jonathan Gannon, it's much more measured.

2 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Cardinals Corner: Breaking down Arizona’s 2024 schedule and early win-loss predictions

This week, the Cardinals Corner crew break down the Arizona Cardinals' 2024 schedule, early win-loss predictions and weigh in on the NFL Prime Time football schedule.

2 days ago

Kyler Murray looks to run...

Tyler Drake

By the numbers: Arizona Cardinals’ 2024 schedule

There is quite a lot to dissect when diving in the Arizona Cardinals' 2024 schedule. A closer look at the slate of games by the numbers:

2 days ago

Kliff Kingsbury and Jayden Daniels look on...

Tyler Drake

The 5: Most intriguing parts to Cardinals’ schedule in 2024

As fans start marking the calendars and planning upcoming road trips, here's a look at the most intriguing parts to the Cardinals' schedule:

3 days ago

Trey McBride celebrates a touchdown...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals’ 2024 schedule revealed

The Cardinals' full schedule for the upcoming year dropped Wednesday, with Arizona opening up the regular season against the Buffalo Bills.

3 days ago

Elijah Jones looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals sign rookie CB Elijah Jones to 4-year contract

The Arizona Cardinals signed third-round pick and cornerback Elijah Jones to a four-year contract on Wednesday.

3 days ago

Out of office: Arizona Cardinals embark on bye week later than most