Arizona Cardinals catch break with 49ers TE Vernon Davis inactive
GLENDALE, Ariz. — National Football League teams have zero sympathy for one another.
So, San Francisco being without tight end Vernon Davis on Sunday is a break the Arizona Cardinals are willing to accept, especially given the number of injuries — as well as a suspension and an off-the-field arrest — they’ve suffered thus far in 2014.
The Cardinals host the Niners (1-1) in what will be the 87th consecutive sellout at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Davis, who is dealing with both ankle and knee issues, has been a consistent thorn in the Cardinals’ side: He has 54 catches for 811 yards and nine touchdowns in 16 career games against Arizona.
The Niners will also be without cornerback Tremaine Brock, tackle Anthony Davis, linebacker Corey Lemonier, center Marcus Martin, tight end Vance McDonald and receiver Quinton Patton. All are listed as inactive.
For the Cardinals, quarterback Carson Palmer will not suit up, meaning rookie Logan Thomas will back up starter Drew Stanton for the second straight week.
“He cannot throw,” head coach Bruce Arians said about Palmer, who continues to deal with a bruised nerve in his right shoulder. “He’s improved dramatically, but he still can’t throw.”
The team’s six other inactives include punter Dave Zastudil, linebacker Victor Butler, linebacker Glenn Carson, linebacker Alex Okafor, nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu and tight end Rob Housler.
Zastudil and Okafor were ruled out earlier in the week because of groin and thigh injuries respectively. Housler has a hip issue that limited him in practice. The others are all believed to be healthy scratches, though it is a surprise Ta’amu is not playing.
The good news is that defensive tackle Frostee Rucker is active after missing last week’s game at New York because of a calf problem.
“That’ll be huge,” Arians said after practice Friday. “Great leader. He’s battle-tested, especially in this type of game.”
The Cardinals, who have lost nine of the last 10 meetings against the 49ers, are trying to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in the last 41 years — and the first time since 2012.
“To get to 3-0 and win September is always what you’re looking for,” Arians said. “You want to win September. But to go undefeated right before the bye, get some guys healthy and then go to Denver in first place would be huge for this team.”