A Look Back at the Cardinals Series of Unfortunate Events
Oct 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas (6) during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
After a quarter of the season, the Arizona Cardinals are sitting pretty at 3-1. They’ve played mostly good football and solidified their reputation as a tough match-up for almost any team.The offense,while it hasn’t been flawless, has been the best it has in the past couple of years. The defense has still been great at stopping the run, ranking 5th in the league in rush yards allowed.
This success hasn’t come easy in the desert. The Cardinals ended last season with a 10-6 record, which they wanted to build on. The offseason, however, was not very kind. First, star LB Daryl Washington was suspended for a year for repeated violation of the NFL Substance Abuse Policy. Then, LB Karlos Dansby, the Cards leading tackler last season, left in free agency to join Cleveland. With two of the Cardinals leading defenders gone, it was questionable how well the defense could match its previous production. Things got worse when Darnell Docket tore his ACL during camp.In spite of the loss of three key defenders, the Cardinals defense played well through its first three games.
On the offensive side, the Cardinals dodged a bullet when Andre Ellingtons foot injury turned out to be nothing to be concerned about However, after Week 1, starting QB Carson Palmer was unable to throw with a nerve issue in his shoulder. Drew Stanton, who hadn’t started since 2010, led the Cardinals to two wins and even started to drum up some quarterback controversy. The Cardinals were looking like playoff contenders with their backup QB.
In the Week 5 match against Denver, fate struck again. Drew Stanton went down with a concussion, leaving rookie Logan Thomas as the starter. Calais Campbell also went down after being chop-blocked by TE Julius Thomas. The loss of Campbell already showed its impact. Denver had one, yes one, rushing yard with him on the filed. After he left, Denver ran for 85 yards. DE/LB Matt Shaughnessy has also been moved to IR with a designation to return.
How much more can Arizona take? Despite the efforts of several players to replace lost ones, the Cardinals are in a tough spot moving forward. They’ll need to win these upcoming games despite a myriad of injuries. The good news is that Carson Palmer is throwing again, meaning the QB carousel might be put to a stop before Sunday. If it doesn’t, the great season Arizona is having might grind to a temporary halt that may make their postseason aspirations harder to reach. Don’t panic though. Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles have this team playing well in spite of their bad luck. It is still noteworthy what the Cardinals have done and look to continue to do even while dealing with several key injuries