The Arizona Cardinals are gearing up for their first preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Unfortunately, they might be missing a few key players against the defending AFC Champions. With the first week of the preseason set to get underway, it won’t be too concerning for the Cardinals.
However, there is some concern with veteran tight end Zach Ertz, who had missed the past week of practice with an injury.
On the flip side, the Cardinals did get some encouraging news on the Ertz front. Furthermore, they also received some updates on rookie tight end Trey McBride.
Cardinals Get Encouraging Update on Ertz
Ertz has missed practice the past week, and now he is officially out for the preseason opener, although Kingsbury said Ertz would have been out anyways.
The latest update by Kingsbury is a good sign for Ertz, although things could drastically change over the next few weeks leading up to the regular season.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN also said Ertz is progressing, and the team is just being careful with him at this point.
Still, this could be something to keep an eye on going forward. The team drafted Trey McBride out of Colorado State, then signed Stephen Anderson, the former Los Angeles Chargers tight end, so they are covering all bases at the position with Ertz turning 32 in November.
The former Philadelphia Eagles tight end caught 56 passes for 574 yards and three scores after coming over midseason from Philly. He is expected to be a massive contributor in 2022 as the top tight end for Kyler Murray.
Ertz’s status isn’t the only update in the tight end room.
McBride is Also Out for the Cardinals’ Preseason Opener, Which Opens the Way for Anderson
On August 4, the Cardinals got an update on McBride, and the rookie tight end has had a rough preseason while dealing with an injury.
A week later, and with the preseason opener here, it looks like McBride won’t be ready to go for that game, and Darren Urban of Cardinals.com added that McBride “doesn’t look like he’ll be able to go.”
McBride was one of the best tight ends in the 2022 draft class. He caught an eye-popping 90 passes for 1,121 yards but just one touchdown for the Rams in 2021, and there is a ton of excitement and the 1-2 TE punch of Ertz and McBride.
For now, it is Stephen Anderson season, at least in the preseason opener. He had to compete for targets with veteran Jared Cook and Donald Parham, so his 2021 numbers aren’t enticing. Anderson caught just 16 balls for 165 yards and a touchdown while playing in every game for the Chargers.
The depth chart should have Ertz and McBride on top of the pecking order at tight end, but if Anderson plays well in this opportunity, Kingsbury might need to find a way to get all three involved on offense.
Unfortunately, McBride and Ertz will be out for Friday’s game, and let’s hope both players can recover and get back on the field to get their legs under them.