O-line could be in store for changes
Everyone knows who’s going to be carrying the football for the Cardinals on Sunday when they meet the visiting Buccaneers. But come game time, just who is going to be blocking for Adrian Peterson?
It appears there’s a decent chance the Cardinals could get two of their starters back on the left side of the line, tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and guard Alex Boone (pectoral strain). Both players were listed as limited in practice on Thursday, but so were 10 others, including seven starters.
Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said Humphries and Boone each looked good in full pads. He stopped short of saying both will be ready to go against Tampa Bay, but coach Bruce Arians sounded cautiously optimistic when he last met with reporters on Wednesday.
Goodwin, meanwhile, hinted there could be a change at right guard, where starter Evan Boehm has been struggling and has been flagged four times the past two weeks for holding. Veteran Earl Watford started at left guard last week against the Eagles and played well enough that Goodwin said Watford could take over for Boehm if the team needs to make a move.
“That’s been the thought process,” Goodwin said. “Earl did good last week. He gave up a sack, but you’ve got to remember the guy had a month off. He battled. He did good in the run game. His limitations came a little bit in 'pass pro' just because it’s been a while. But Earl know knows the offense; he stepped right in and did a great job.”
Watford, who spent the past four seasons with the Cardinals, was released by the Jaguars just before the start of this season.
He said he could have played much better in the Philadelphia game and wasn’t happy with how he performed overall.
“I expect much more out of myself,” he said, adding of possibly starting at right guard, “I’m ready whenever, whatever they need. If I’m out there, I’m giving everything I have. I spent a lot of years here and I want to keep going. It’s exciting. I’m ready to keep working.”
Only one player did not practice for the Cardinals on Thursday – defensive lineman Olsen Pierre (ankle). Listed as limited for a second straight day were cornerback Patrick Peterson (quadriceps), receivers John Brown (quadriceps) and J.J. Nelson (hamstring), linebackers Karlos Dansby (hamstring) and Josh Bynes (hamstring), tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) and defensive tackles Corey Peters (knee), Josh Mauro (elbow), Xavier Williams (shoulder) and Robert Nkemdiche (calf).
For the Buccaneers, defensive end Ryan Russell (shoulder) did not practice and six others were listed as limited: linebackers Kwon Alexander (hamstring) and Levonte David (ankle), defensive end Robert Ayers (back), center Ali Marpet (illness) and safeties Keith Tandy (hip) and T.J. Ward (hip).
Go fund me
During his last stint with the Cardinals, linebacker Karlos Dansby claimed the league was cheating him out of tackles, specifically the amount of solo tackles he was registering at the time. He didn’t make a huge stink about it but pointed out how it could wind up potentially costing a player come contract time.
“It’s water under the bridge now,” he said the other day, only to add that he thinks it’s starting to happen again.
“They haven’t been counting some of them, but I’m going to force their hand, though,” Dansby said. “I’m going to make sure they see me on that film and I’m going to force their hand. They don’t have to count them now, but after a while, you’ll have no choice but to count them.”
Dansby wouldn’t speculate on how many tackles he thinks he’s been shortchanged overall through five games this season, but it’s interesting to note that NFL.com has him with 31 combined tackles, ESPN has him with 32 and the Cardinals have him with 33.
“I’m not sure, but I’m flying around, man. I’m trying to get to that ball and do my part,” he said. “If I’m there to make a tackle, I need to make it. Guys count on me to do that. We’re making sure we don’t let each other down.”