Rookies Robert Nkemdiche, Brandon Williams among Arizona Cardinals’ inactives in Week 4

Oct 2, 2016, 12:27 PM
Rookies Robert Nkemdiche and Brandon Williams highlight the Arizona Cardinals' list of inactives in...
Rookies Robert Nkemdiche and Brandon Williams highlight the Arizona Cardinals' list of inactives in Week 4.

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Reinforcements are on the way for the Arizona Cardinals.

Both right guard Evan Mathis and linebacker Kareem Martin will be in uniform when the Cardinals host the Los Angeles Rams in an early-season NFC West matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Mathis missed last week due to turf toe, plus a lingering mid-foot sprain suffered in the season opener. Martin, meanwhile, has not seen the field yet because of a knee injury he sustained in the preseason finale.

“It helps, because he’s been a really good special teams player for us,” head coach Bruce Arians said, referring to Martin.

The Cardinals’ inactives included punter Drew Butler, cornerback Brandon Williams, guard Cole Toner plus defensive tackles Olson Pierre, Robert Nkemdiche, Frostee Rucker and Xavier Williams.

Butler (left calf) and Rucker (knee) had already been ruled out because of injury.

This is the third straight game Rucker will be sidelined.

The surprise here is that both Williams and Nkemdiche, a couple of rookies, are among the inactives. Williams opened the season as a starter, but then he saw his playing time reduced with the emergence of Marcus Cooper.

Williams did not see any defensive snaps in Buffalo.

Nkemdiche has not played since Week 1.

“Had a great week of practice, probably his best week of practice,” Arians said. “Ankle looked good and a really strong week of practice”

For the Rams, defensive end William Hayes (ankle) is out due to injury.

The others not in uniform for Los Angeles are quarterback Sean Mannion, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, guard Lamon Brown, tackle Pace Murphy and wide receiver Nelson Bruce.

The Cardinals have won four of the past five meetings with the Rams. They split the season series a year ago.

“Obviously it’s a big game, division game,” Arians said. “They’re in first place and coming to our house, and it doesn’t really get any better than that.”

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Rookies Robert Nkemdiche, Brandon Williams among Arizona Cardinals’ inactives in Week 4