The Cards defense may be going into Sunday’s game at home to the Carolina Panthers with a depleted defense as they did last week. The team found a way to eek out an ugly 3 point win, but after the game they had more key players sustain injuries that have kept them all limited in practice this week.
Out of all the injuries reported, there may be one player the Cardinals can’t afford to not have this week, and that is defensive linemen Darnell Dockett.
Dockett was starting to get a groove of getting pressure to the passer, and was able to record 3 sacks in a game against the New Orleans Saints two weeks previous, and also had numerous pressures on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon last week.
Dockett was fined for a horse collar tackle on Glennon and also had a taunting foul as well that cost him 15,570 total in fines this week. Dockett appeared frustrated after the offense was forced off the field after a Carson Palmer interception in the end zone that would have gotten the team its first points of the game.
Dockett and the defense had held the Buccs from running away with the game early and it looked as if the offense would start doing its part on that drive, but the interception put the game back in the hands of a seemingly frustrated defense, as the entire first half and part of the third quarter the offense was not able to sustain a drive.
That’s when Dockett picked up his personal foul penalty and pressured Glennon and slammed him down by his collar, looking at the play he had put some serious emphasis on the tackle, he was tackling like an angry mad man, similar to what fans were accustomed to in his first few years in the league.
No, we do not accept personal fouls but you sure have to love the passion and anger Dockett displayed, unfortunately he injured himself in the process and sustained a groin injury. This injury can be a long lingering injury, and if not properly rested it will flare up and never heal all season.
Should he not be able to go, the Cardinals will miss Dockett more than all of the other injuries this week, why? Because the Dockett of old was making his way back to the status we were used to seeing him play, and that intensity will be key in a game that has a team with a mean front line and a good running game.
If the Cards can get Dockett along with defensive tackle Dan Williams back for this weeks game, this will be the key to a win at home, shutting down the Panthers strength at running the ball, as the defensive backs will be able to shut down the passing game that has not moved the ball very well this season, with the exception of their last game against the lowly New York Giants blowing them out 38-0.
Look for the Cards to make game time announcements on all injuries, but I will be listening for Dockett’s status before anyone else.