The Arizona Cardinals have been lucky to say the least when it comes to injuries. So many teams haven’t had the fortune of saying that. Just ask the Dallas Cowboys, who just lost DeMarcus Lawrence due to a fractured foot, Michael Gallup and have dealt with numerous situations.
The Cardinals’ injury report on September 16 ahead of a Week 2 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings included starting right tackle Kelvin Beachum not practicing on Thursday for a second straight day.
Beachum left in the third quarter in the Cardinals’ win over the Titans due to a rib injury and didn’t return. Justin Murray took his place, who was competing for the right guard position before Josh Jones was given the starting role prior to the regular season.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury was asked on September 15 whether Beachum would be ready for Week 2.
“We don’t know yet. It’ll be in the next couple of days. We’ll get him out there and see how it feels.”
While Murray played extremely well in the second half in Beachum’s absence, there is one caveat that should be acknowledged.
Tough Matchup For Any RT Sunday
Murray started most of the 2019 season with Arizona at right tackle. If he were to start on Sunday, Danielle Hunter would be in his way. Hunter, at 26 years old, has 54.5 sacks in his career, including 29 sacks in the last two seasons when he was healthy in 2018 and 2019.
Hunter sacked Joe Burrow in Week 1, his first sack since 2019.
Hunter was hurt in all of 2020 due to a neck injury and Mike Zimmer’s defense as a result took a hit. Multiple other players including Mike Hughes, Michael Pierce, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks couldn’t contribute as well which left the Vikings ranked 27th in the league.
With Hunter healthy, any right tackle should have their hands full. Just ask Vikings great Jared Allen, who joined Bryant McFadden’s podcast All Things Covered in the offseason.
“He reminds me of Julius Peppers when Julius came in,” Allen said. “He can do anything. He knows how to use his body. He knows how to use his length. He knows how to use his strength. He knows how to set people up … He’s special. He’s one of those guys, him and Myles Garrett are both in that category.”
Whoever is at right tackle for the Cardinals will have their hands full. If Murray starts on Sunday, Arizona will have to figure out a way for Murray to have some support whether it means double-teaming Hunter or not.
Vikings Injuries Lingering
The Vikings have bigger injury problems to deal with than their opponent this Sunday. Defensive end Everson Griffen and linebacker Eric Kendricks were added to the injury report. There’s especially a concern with Kendricks according to ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin. In a battle against a high-powered Cardinals offense, that is a huge deal. Linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Harrison Hand were out for a second straight practice with a knee and hamstring injury individually.
They already struggled against the Bengals who were against Joe Burrow who was playing his first game coming off an ACL injury he suffered last season. But the cornerback room is the one area that has an obvious issue. Bashaud Breeland gave up 107 yards against the Bengals, which was the second most yards given up by a corner in Week 1.
You obviously want to see everyone healthy, but the Cardinals could be seeing the Vikings at an ideal time.