It feels like every day the Arizona Cardinals keep getting bad news on the injury front, and now even the COVID front.
On Sunday against the 49ers, Maxx Williams suffered a “major” injury to his right need and was placed on Injured Reserve on October 13. Chandler Jones was placed on the Reserve/COVID list on October 12 for testing positive for COVID-19.
We knew center Rodney Hudson left the game against the 49ers due to a ribs injury. But now on October 13, coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters that the anchor on the offensive front will not play on Sunday against the Browns.
Kingsbury isn’t optimistic about Jones playing against the Browns as well. Jones is also dealing with symptoms according to Kingsbury.
The Browns are definitely in luck. This now leaves the Cardinals without their powerful offseason addition in Hudson and two-time All-Pro edge rusher Jones in Week 6.
Their cornerback room in terms of injuries is still a working progress. Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson were out against the 49ers.
“Still day-to-day,” said Kingsbury. “We’re getting them out there, moving them around. Definitely have been progressions but not sure how it’s going to play out as the week goes on.”
How Cardinals’ Replace Both
Both players on opposite sides of the ball are crucial to the Cardinals’ success. While Jones’ five sacks were all in Week 1, he’s been one of the best in the league in terms of pressures. Hudson still hadn’t allowed one pressure for the season according to olinestats.com.
The Cardinals will now depend on 29-year-old Max Garcia at the center position, who filled in for Hudson in Week 5. Garcia is in his third season with the Cardinals and has been in the league since 2015. He’s also played in 42% of the Cardinals’ offensive plays, lining up at right guard and center due to injuries. Garcia started at right guard against the Rams in Week 4 and was effective.
Kyler Murray understands what the rest of the team has to do.
“We got to hold it down while he’s out,” said Murray. “That’s the mindset.”
Arizona will now have to rely on Markus Golden, Devon Kennard and Dennis Gardeck in replacing Chandler Jones. The Cards’ defense has ranked sixth in scoring defense and has gotten great contributions from Isaiah Simmons and J.J. Watt.
Familiar Face Returns
There is finally some good news for the Cardinals. Arizona designated OL Josh Miles and DL Jordan Phillips to return from the injured reserve list.
This means both players have three weeks to return from IR or they will miss the rest of the season. Miles provides much-needed offensive line depth.
Phillips had two IR stints in 2020 because of hamstring issues. The 29-year-old defender was given a 3-year, 30$ million deal in 2020 and hasn’t lived up to the contract yet. Phillips had 9.5 sacks with the Bills in 2019 and didn’t have too much success before that year. If Phillips can come back and play like the 2019 version of himself, there would be almost nothing stopping the undefeated Cardinals if everyone is healthy.
The Cards also announced that they signed safety James Wiggins off of the practice squad to fill a roster spot that held Ezekiel Turner, who was placed on IR due to a shoulder injury.