Cardinals Lose Key Starting Lineman to Injury vs. Panthers

Getty Images Justin Pugh blocks for Kyler Murray on October 3, 2021.

It truly never ends when it comes to injuries for the 2021 Arizona Cardinals.

On November 12, the Cardinals ruled out offensive lineman Justin Pugh along with safety James Wiggins and running backs Chase Edmonds and Jonathon Ward against the Carolina Panthers for Week 10.

The Cardinals seem to have had the worst luck imaginable. Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, J.J. Watt, Maxx Williams, Rodney Hudson and even their head coach Kliff Kingsbury have all received their brunt of the long football season.

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With Edmonds, it was already confirmed he suffered a high-ankle sprain and will miss multiple games according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.

Now, right guard Pugh will miss his first game of the season due to a calf injury.

Pugh will miss his first game of the season in Week 10 due to a calf issue. But he’s had a history of leaving games due to injury, as he departed against the 49ers for the second time this season.

Backup lineman Sean Harlow will now start at left guard.

In case you missed the good news, star quarterback Kyler Murray participated in Friday’s portion of practice open to the media. It’s his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury in the last drive of Week 8’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.

It’s not a given he’ll take part in the action on Sunday. Coach Kliff Kingsbury rules Murray a game-day decision. But it’s all about his readiness.

As for the offensive line, this has been a year of maneuvering and shakeups.


Offensive Line Movement

According to Howard Balzer of Sports Illustrated, the offensive line combination against the Panthers will be the seventh different one this season.

Sean Harlow was asked to play center after Rodney Hudson and Max Garcia being unavailable against the Packers. Now he will step in for Pugh at left guard.

Pugh will be missed, who has an above-average 76.2 pass-blocking grade according to Pro Football Focus.

At the same time, Harlow did a seemingly well job against the 49ers last week. Locked On Cardinals podcaster Bo Brack showed Harlow’s strength on James Conner’s rushing touchdown, handling All-Pro edge rusher Nick Bosa.

This week, the Cardinals will face a stout Panthers defense that features Brian Burns, Derrick Brown and especially former Cardinal Haason Reddick, who’s lit up the league on a one-year contract.

With Garcia questionable, it looks like Josh Jones will be the starter at right guard, who’s also had time at his natural position at right tackle.

Veteran starting right tackle Kelvin Beachum was a full participant at practice after being listed as limited with a shin injury this week. He missed two games due to a ribs injury.

Justin Murray was designed to return from the injured reserve last week, but is not expected to be activated against the Panthers.


Cardinals Injury Report

The Cardinals released their final injury report of the week and while the list is extensive, there’s a bit more clarity due to players finally practicing.

As Cardinals reporter Darren Urban mentioned, all of the players ruled questionable will be magnified.

Kingsbury expects Budda Baker to play, per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. But Rondale Moore and DeAndre Hopkins appear to be game-day decisions.

 

 

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