Arizona Cardinals: Reviewing the Linebackers


Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) defends against Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker John Abraham (55) as quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to pass during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals completed their 53-man roster on Saturday but on Sunday made a slight change and that was at linebacker, adding an 11th player to the linebacking corps.  Here is a look at the current 11 linebackers on the Cards roster as of Tuesday morning.

Matt Shaughnessy –  Coming off a 36 tackle and three sack season, Shaughnessy has been a force.  Not knowing much about him before he came to Arizona, he has endeared himself to Cards fans.  A solid player.

Sam Acho – His 2013 season ended early due to injury.  Played well in 2011 his rookie season and in 2012.  He had seven sacks and two interceptions in those first two seasons.  Has a lot of potential and hopefully we hear his name called a lot this season.

Thomas Keiser – Keiser was just picked up off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.  He had 21 tackles and 4.5 sacks and an interception last season in 12 games for the Chargers.  He is a solid pass rusher from the edges so we’ll see if the addition pays off.

Larry Foote – Only played in one game in 2013 but spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He brings a veteran presence to a group that needs to find leadership.  He may be that guy.

Kenny Demens – He was on and off the practice squad for the Cards last season, so he’s been around the team.  A decent back up but with limited regular season action, still don’t know a whole lot about what he can or will be able to do.

Glenn Carson – Carson had a good preseason.  The rookie out of Penn State should provide nice relief as a backup.

Kevin Minter – He’s playing with a torn triceps.  The question during the preseason was whether he’d be able to play with it or need surgery and miss the season.  For now, he’s playing.  Cards are still waiting for the real Kevin Minter to arrive.  With the subtraction of Daryl Washington, the Cards need him to step up.

Desmond Bishop – Bishop, who played with the Minnesota Vikings last season after being with the Green Bay Packers for the first five years of his career, comes off a season which ended early due to injury.  That seems to be a theme with Cards linebackers.  Health will always be a concern but Bishop played well in preseason and showed enough to stay.

John Abraham – Maybe the biggest question mark in a group full of question marks.  He came into camp very late due to a DUI in Georgia, which sent him to rehab.  He isn’t in 100% football playing shape yet but the gut feeling here is the Cards won’t allow him to be on a long leash.  Is he the reason the Cards brought in Keiser?  We don’t know and may never know but know this, Arians can’t be happy with his situation.  He let the team down.  He had a turn around season with 11 sacks in 2013.  The Cards need that production again.

Alex Okafor – Here’s another linebacker whose 2013 season ended early due to injury.  He had a torn biceps and only made it into one game last year.  That is his only regular season experience.  Many questions remain with what he’ll be able to do.

Lorenzo Alexander – Yes another 2013 season cut short here with a foot injury.  A very popular theme.  Has been a career backup with the exception of one season in Washington when he started 12 games.  He did start all three games he played in last season for the Cards before the injury.