The Arizona Cardinals have a number of injury questions heading into Week One. Here’s where things stand as of now.
It’s unclear at this point whether Zach Ertz is going to be able to play in the Arizona Cardinals’ Week One game against the Kansas City Chiefs. At the present moment, he’s expected to be a game-time decision. He’s been dealing with a calf injury since the early days of training camp which kept him out of any play throughout the preseason. If he can’t find a way to go against the Chiefs, it appears to be something the Cardinals have been preparing for.
Ertz was one of Kyler Murray’s favorite targets in 2021, so it will be a disappointment if he finds himself in a position of not being able to go for the Cardinals Week One. Thanks to the team’s depth at the tight end position, an absence on his part isn’t going to be as devastating as it might be for some other teams. The team has really built up the tight end room and that appears to have been a good idea.
Maxx Williams seems to be good to go off his injury from last season and is expected to be a part of the offensive package in Week One’s game for the Cardinals. If he can prove good to go, it’ll be a big lift off the coaching staff’s shoulders, as they’ve been dealing with complications from injury throughout training camp and the preseason. His action matched with the rookie Trey McBride should suffice if Ertz can’t make a go of it.
The bigger problem for the Cardinals is that Markus Golden may not be able to play, the veteran edge rusher who led the team with 11 sacks in 2021. His absence becomes problematic for a team that otherwise has just J.J. Watt and a couple of youngsters left to rush the passer. It could become even more of a problem with the team putting Devon Kennard on the practice squad. The team has clearly made the calculation that youth is going to pay off for them on defense.
There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but you’ve got to be able to count on a certain level of play from your defense. If Golden can’t go, that puts a lot of extra pressure on these young players to step up. Watt hasn’t proven himself able to stay healthy for a full season in quite some time, and I don’t need to remind Cardinals fans about the departure of Chandler Jones to the Las Vegas Raiders.
In a bit of better news, Kliff Kingsbury is confident that Rondale Moore will be able to suit up for the Cardinals. Moore has been mysteriously held out of some of the team’s recent activity, but it doesn’t appear to be serious enough to warrant long term attention. Today’s practice demands that the ailment be listed, so we’ll have a better idea of the extent of it soon enough. Having him ready to go will be a huge plus for the offense.
The Cardinals are expecting big things from Moore this season, so it’s a welcome sign to hear that he will likely be playing Week One. His presence is going to be needed on an offense that figures to move the ball around freely and openly with a number of wide receiver options and running backs catching passes out of the backfield. Offensive weaponry in a highly stylized air raid offense has become the team’s specialty.
Lastly, the Cardinals have placed Colt McCoy on Injured Reserve and Trace McSorley has been named as the backup quarterback to Murray. McCoy continues to be bothered by a sore arm that kept him out of training camp and the regular season, but that isn’t what got him placed on IR. A calf issue is what landed him there. McSorley, who looked fair enough in the preseason, has shown himself able to lead the offense should anything happen to Murray.