Kingsbury: Cardinals’ Greg Dortch ‘has made big strides’ with thumb injury
TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals are hoping to get a handful of names back in the mix at some point or another for the final stretch of the 2022 season, with two of those players being wide receivers Greg Dortch and Rondale Moore.
The duo, which has flashed over the course of the season, have been banged up of late.
It’s been an injury-riddled season for Moore, who has already dealt with ankle and hamstring ailments over the year. His latest injury is to his groin, which he suffered on the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage in a Week 11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
As for Dortch, the wide receiver is working to get back from a thumb injury picked up in the defeat to San Francisco.
Entering the week of preparation for a Monday Night Football matchup against the New England Patriots, Dortch appears in a better position health wise than his fellow wideout.
“I’m hopeful at least one of those guys will be ready,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. “Dortch has made big strides, so I think he’ll have a chance to go.”
Given the chance, Dortch has proven he can make plays in Kingsbury’s offense.
Seeing most of his work this season when Moore has been sidelined, Dortch has amassed 324 yards and two touchdowns on 34 catches (39 targets) over 11 games played. He’s averaging 9.5 yards per reception.
That’s not to say Moore hasn’t been a key contributor when healthy.
Despite missing a good chunk of time due to injuries, the wide receiver sits third on the team in receiving yards (414) and fourth in catches (41).
A look at some of the other injured Cardinals to keep tabs over the next week or so.
CB Byron Murphy Jr.
He’s getting closer, but it sounds like it could very well be another week until we see the return of Murphy, who is dealing with a back injury.
“I’d say he’s day to day. … He’s feeling better, don’t know if he’ll make it in time for the game but definitely improved,” Kingsbury said.
The No. 1 CB hasn’t played since Week 9.
This season, Murphy has recorded 36 tackles, three of which were for losses, 0.5 sacks, four passes defensed and a QB hit. He also returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
In his place has been Antonio Hamilton, who had earned the starting CB job opposite Murphy before a freak cooking accident sidelined the DB. He patrols the secondary largely alongside Marco Wilson.
Through eight games played (three starts), Hamilton has registered an interception and five passes defensed.
RG Will Hernandez and C Rodney Hudson
While Kingsbury remains optimistic one or both of the veteran linemen can return to action, it’ll be at least another week before that’s the case, per Kingsbury.
“I don’t think either will be back this week,” the head coach said. “Next week, possibly. I’d say that’s the soonest either one could be back.”
Hudson has played in just four games this season due to a knee injury. In his place has largely been Billy Price.
Hernandez hasn’t played since Week 9 with a strained pectoral. It’s been a group effort in place of the bruiser, with rookie Lecitus Smith and Max Garcia both getting some run at right guard.