CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals’ Carlos Watkins needs biceps surgery, L.J. Collier on the mend

Sep 20, 2023, 10:20 AM

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals’ defensive line depth got that much thinner on Wednesday.

Lineman Carlos Watkins is expected to miss significant time with a biceps injury that requires surgery, head coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed ahead of practice. Watkins left the Cardinals’ Week 2 loss to the New York Giants and did not return.

Additionally, L.J. Collier, who was placed on injured reserve last week with his own biceps issue, has already undergone surgery. The team is still working through whether or not he will be back in 2023.

The developments undoubtedly affect Arizona’s rotation at the position ahead of a tough Week 3 test in the form of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Tony Pollard.

“It’s just like with (safety Budda Baker), next guy’s got to get up and get ready to play. But I feel good about those guys going in. I thought (Eric Banks) and (Dante Stills) played pretty well and then with Carlos going out in the game, we were a little short there because we like to play with five. But I like the five that will be up (in Week 3).”

It’s not all bad news, though, with Gannon adding that defensive lineman Leki Fotu will make a return to the practice field on Wednesday.

Fotu was sidelined in last week’s loss to the Giants with a shoulder injury suffered the week prior. He was a limited participant throughout the week of practice before being ruled out on game day.

With Watkins and Collier out, Arizona has Jonathan Ledbetter, Kevin Strong, Fotu and Stills currently available inside the DL room.

The Cardinals also have practice squad options Banks, Jacob Slade and Ben Stille who could be elevated to the active roster ahead of the Week 3 tilt against Dallas.

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