Cardinals Provide Troublesome Update on Veteran WR

Getty Images A.J. Green catches a pass against Greedy Williams during the third quarter on October 17, 2021.

The Arizona Cardinals continue to have bad luck on the COVID front.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates, the Cardinals placed wide receiver A.J. Green on the Reserve/COVID list on November 3.

Alex Weiner of Sports Illustrated detailed before his positive test that, “Green is typically out and about Wednesday practicing in limited capacity, so his absence was unusual.”

Green will need two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart before being activated from the COVID list, if he’s vaccinated. It’s unfortunate that the positive test has come less than four days away from Week 9’s divisional matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

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NFL reporter Aaron Wilson also reports tight end Demetrius Harris was put on the COVID list.

The Cardinals have had 22 players land on the COVID list since training camp began, including head coach Kliff Kingsbury. This comes at a time where top receiver DeAndre Hopkins is battling a hamstring injury. Kingsbury is uncertain with Hopkins’ status for Sunday.

“Not sure if he’ll be ready to go this week or not. But with D Hop, you never know. He may grab his helmet and just run in there.”

The good news for Arizona is defensive lineman Corey Peters was back at practice after being activated off the COVID list last week.

What Potentially Losing Green Means

The Cardinals haven’t had to rely on Hopkins as much as 2020 and the main reason is because of their depth.

It first starts with Green, who has 29 catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns. By potentially losing Green, the team will have an uptick of targets for Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and tight end Zach Ertz.

Before the COVID announcement for Green, Kingsbury defended Green’s blunder in the endzone resulting in a game-winning interception for the Packers in last week’s Thursday night showdown.

“He’s a pro. That’s miscommunication. It had nothing to do with a fault of somebody. One guy thought it was one thing, the other guy thought it was something else. He understands what he’s meant to this offense so far and how much better we’ve been better with him. I expect him to play at a high level.

Kyler Murray understands they’re in better for the long haul.

“I know he’s hot,” he said. “Emotions are running high. Obviously, after the fact, we both know we weren’t on the same page, and it cost us. But we’ll be better because of it.”

Green has yet to miss a game in 2021 and has the most yards per catch at 15.7 since his rookie year in 2011. With Hopkins ailing with a hamstring injury as well, the Cardinals must be prepared to use Kirk, Moore and Ertz.

It’s not 100% that Murray will be playing against the 49ers either. Murray injured his ankle late in the Cardinals’ loss to the Packers on October 28.

On October 31, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported on Murray’s injury.

“He actually sprained his ankle in that game,” said Glazer. “What I’m told is a one-to-three-week type of sprain, ankle.”

While Kingsbury thinks it’s a game-time decision for Murray, he still has the confidence for the third-year star quarterback on Sunday.

“As long as he’s getting the mental reps, we feel good about him going out there and executing,” said Kingsbury.

Injury Report

While Hopkins and Murray were featured on the injury report, it’s worth nothing both players’ injury histories. Murray has yet to miss a game in his young career despite playing through injuries in his first two years. Hopkins has only missed two games in his eight-and-a-half-year career.

The injury reported other key names including rookie linebacker Zaven Collins and running back Chase Edmonds. Collins left the game against the Packers with a shoulder injury and didn’t return.

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