The Arizona Cardinals backups get the best of the Denver Broncos backups on Thursday night
After the Arizona Cardinals got their first and only victory of the preseason on Thursday night, the biggest question heading into cuts over the next two days has to do with the backup quarterback position.
Did Matt Barkley do enough to stay around as the Cardinals third quarterback? He went 20-29 for 262 yards and two touchdown passes. It was probably the best performance of any Cardinals quarterback play in the regular season.
Barkley made some really nice throws. He found eight different receivers on Thursday night. Of course it was all against Broncos backups. It may have been enough though to keep him around a little longer.
As far as other positions, some worked themselves out and some worked themselves into jobs with other teams while others sealed their fate. Linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo is likely done. He was carted off with an apparent knee injury in the first half.
Linebacker Kareem Martin also was injured in the second half. He was helped off the field but walked the last few feet before walking off to the locker room under his own power. No word on his status was immediately available.
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Other guys that had a chance to play themselves on to the regular season roster included cornerback Cariel Brooks. He struggled most of the night. He missed an open field tackle that allowed Broncos receiver Jordan Taylor to take a Paxton Lynch pass 57-yards for the game’s first score. It could be a tough weekend for Brooks.
Receiver Chris Hubert was also quiet Thursday evening. He finished with no receptions. Receivers Jaxon Shipley and Brittan Golden outplayed him. Hubert’s play may not have won him a job on the roster but could make the practice squad.
Both the defensive and offensive lines played very well. Running back Elijaa Penny ran the ball 23 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. The roster is too deep for Penny to make the 53-man roster however he may have played well enough to find a regular season job.
If not a practice squad spot with the Cardinals, Penny could find himself on another roster. The kid can run. Kerwynn Williams, who carried the ball 19 times for 57 yards, also could find himself in the same boat.
The overall best team effort of the preseason by the Cardinals couldn’t have come at a better time. Even kicker Chandler Catanzaro got in on the act, hitting a field goal from 59-yards. Bring on the regular season.