Arizona Cardinals will face ‘really good’ AFC opponent for joint preseason practices

Mar 26, 2024, 8:25 AM

Kyler Murray chats with Jonathan Gannon...

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 and head coach Jonathan Gannon of the Arizona Cardinals participate in a team practice ahead of the NFL season at State Farm Stadium on August 01, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals plan to hold joint practices with another NFL team this preseason. While at the annual league meetings in Orlando on Tuesday, head coach Jonathan Gannon told reporters that the agreement was not yet formalized with the league and did not give the opponent’s name.

“The league has to always approve that. But it’s a really good football team in the AFC,” Gannon added.

Under the first-time head coach last summer, Arizona joined the Minnesota Vikings for a week leading into the teams’ last preseason game.

Why do the Cardinals want to hold joint preseason practices?

Why explore practices with another team? To escape the heat and change the pace.

The Cardinals didn’t exactly accomplish the former during that visit last year, with the muggier conditions in Minnesota meeting warmer temperatures.

Still, they got in good work against a team led by star wideout Justin Jefferson, who had a highlight of a back-and-forth with then-rookie cornerback Kei’Trel Clark. That is likely the competitive experience Gannon and Arizona want to recreate.

“It is a highly competitive environment where it is a little safer than a preseason game,” Gannon said, according to’s Darren Urban. “I always say there is a teeter-totter between development and safety. If you’re too worried about development, you’re going to get a bunch of guys hurt. If you are too worried about safety you’re going to have no development.

“You have to find that sweet spot. (Joint work) is a way you kind of find a sweet spot.”

The NFL did not announce preseason opponents until May last year.

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