Cardinals Add Key Starting Defender on Injury Report

Getty Images Byron Murphy intercepts a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason of 2021.

The Arizona Cardinals have been one of the luckier teams in the NFL when it comes to injuries.

Their luck is slowly starting to even out due to a decent amount of players who are on the September 23 injury report. For a second straight practice, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and right tackle Kelvin Beachum were absent with rib injuries.

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There was one surprising addition to the injury report. Starting cornerback Byron Murphy was put on the injury report with an ankle issue and was absent in Thursday’s practice. Murphy has started both games so far and has played nearly all of the team’s defensive snaps.

In Hopkins’ case, fellow wide receiver A.J. Green had a positive take on his absences. Hopkins has a history of missing practice but finding a way to play. He’s only missed two games in his 9-year career.

“Hop don’t miss games, he’ll be fine.”

The cornerback room already took a hit for anyone who isn’t aware of Malcolm Butler’s sudden retirement. But now there are two starting cornerbacks who have ankle issues. While Marco Wilson is now limited in practice, he’s still dealing with an ankle injury.

We’ll know more by the injury report on September 24, but this is certainly a situation worth monitoring.

Murphy’s Season So Far

According to Pro Football Focus, Byron Murphy had the 8th highest overall defensive grade among CBs in Week 1. Murphy’s coverage grade of 78.5 ranked fourth among corners.

Unfortunately within the first minute of the Vikings game, Murphy had a miscommunication and thought he had safety help in what would be a 64-yard touchdown.

But after that, Murphy was hardly thrown at. Murphy was tested against Justin Jefferson and maintained good coverage late in the game.

So if Murphy were to be out against the Jaguars, what would the Cardinals do? Hopefully, for Arizona, Marco Wilson is available to play and would get a plethora amount of snaps. Antonio Hamilton was elevated to the active roster last week, so he would be ready if need be. The Cardinals also signed Mazzi Wilkins to the practice squad on September 22.

You never want a starting corner to be out, but Robert Alford and Marco Wilson would have to step up. Luq Barqoo and Tay Gowan could also see some action.

Rest of Cardinals Injury Report

The offensive line had a decent portion of players that were either out or limited for practice on September 23.

Right tackle Kelvin Beachum was out for the second straight day with a ribs injury. He was out of practice for the whole week heading into the Vikings matchup until last Friday. Left guard Justin Pugh was out on September 22 due to a shoulder injury, but was limited on September 23. Pugh left the field in the second half against the Vikings, but came back and didn’t miss a single snap in the contest.

As for Justin Murray, who replaced Beachum at right tackle during the last two games, he didn’t practice because of a personal issue. Backup Josh Miles was also added to the report with an ankle injury and didn’t participate.

Linebacker Devon Kennard was limited for a second consecutive day. Kennard was ruled out against the Vikings because of a hamstring injury.

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