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Who’s Likely In, Out Of Cardinals Week One Roster?

The Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster for Week One of the NFL season has until tomorrow to finalize. Who ends up making the cut, and who falls short?

Now that the Arizona Cardinals have finished up with the preseason schedule, it’s time to anticipate the announcement of the 53-man roster which arrives tomorrow. The team has a number of difficult final decisions to make before the start of the regular season. With a couple of notably deep positions, it’s inevitable that some quality players aren’t going to make the final roster cut.

These final cuts have got to be made, though, and someone is going to find themselves unemployed or on a different roster come Week One. For the Cardinals, an embarrassment of riches at certain positions just makes the choices that much tougher. Let’s take a look at where some of the toughest choices for the team lie ahead of tomorrow’s deadline, who could make it, and who may ultimately be left off the Week One roster.

Jonathan Ward

Cardinals fans have been aware of the depth of the running back room throughout training camp and the preseason, but as the team sits with five notable names, one of them is going to ultimately be left behind. As I weigh these five players, I can easily make a case for all of them deserving a spot on the Week One roster. But it seems that there’s a growing consensus who the cut player is going to be.

At this point, it appears the growing sense is that Jonathan Ward isn’t going to make the Week One roster. The disappointment in this is that he showed tremendous ability as a kick returner throughout the preseason. However, it’s also true that Greg Dortch holds these abilities as a kick return specialist as well. This, as well as the remaining depth in the running back room, makes it possible that Ward doesn’t make the final cut.

Greg Dortch / Andy Isabella

Speaking of Dortch, yes, it appears the growing sense is that he will be making the Week One roster. This is excellent news for many who have been watching the Cardinals throughout the preseason and following the team throughout training camp as he has become a definite fan favorite. The combination of his abilities as a kick returner and the excitement he’s provided in the receiving game have elevated him to the attention of many this preseason.

With Dortch being almost a sure bet at this point to make the roster, the same thing can’t be said for Andy Isabella. Though Isabella has also provided a good deal of excitement in the receiving game for the Cardinals throughout the preseason, the elevation of Dortch and the return of Antoine Wesley appear to mean there isn’t enough space for him come Week One. This is sure to disappoint some, but it should also be an indication that the wide receiver depth chart, once feared to be frail earlier this preseason, is shaping up quite well.

Antwaun Woods

Bet on Antwaun Woods making the cut on the defensive line for the Cardinals. The veteran defensive tackle out of the University of Southern California has had an impressive training camp and preseason and appears to be taking the edge over undrafted rookie Manny Jones as well as Jonathan Ledbetter. On a defensive line that has a lot of youth apart from J.J. Watt, the team sees it as beneficial to bring in another player with some veteran experience.

Woods fits the role better than the others when it comes to this kind of experience. As Zach Allen looks to have a breakout season on the defensive line, it will be easier for him to do with the added attention offensive lines are going to have to give veterans like Watt and Woods. Providing that line with every possibility to fulfill its potential is going to be key come Week One as the Cardinals’ secondary still holds several unanswered questions.

 
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