The Arizona Cardinals have adopted the “next man up” mantra of head coach Bruce Arians when injuries have become a factor
Arizona Cardinals’ third-round draft pick Chad Williams must’ve been disappointed last Sunday. When the inactives were announced for the Detroit Lions’ game, the wide receiver was among them. Williams won’t be part of that group this weekend.
Thanks to an injury to John Brown, the Cardinals’ rookie will be suiting up this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Williams isn’t the only substitute who’ll be getting his shot to shine. One week into the regular-season, head coach Bruce Arians’ “next man up” mantra is already coming into play.
After escaping the preseason relatively healthy, Arizona has suffered a rash of injuries throughout the past week. The bumps and bruises of several players have put an early dent into the squad’s first-aid kit.
Brown’s quadricep problem has opened a door for Williams that was most likely going to remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Grambling State product did very little to distinguish himself this offseason. The Colts’ contest is a golden opportunity for Williams to show he deserves to be active each and every week.
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Like Williams, newcomer Alex Boone will also be making his Cards’ debut this weekend. The ninth-year pro will be filling in for left guard Mike Iupati (triceps). Boone is a talented veteran who will do an admirable job for as long as he’s needed.
Iupati won’t be the only part of the starting offensive line missing versus Indy. Left tackle D.J. Humphries hurt his knee against the Lions, and is being replaced by journeyman John Wetzel. There was a drastic dropoff in production when Humphries left the game this past Sunday, so Wetzel will need to do much better than he did against Detroit.
Running back Kerwynn Williams may have the biggest shoes of all to fill going forward. David Johnson will miss at least a couple of months after undergoing wrist surgery. Williams should have help however, since Andre Ellington, Elijhaa Penny and the newly re-signed Chris Johnson are also in the mix for touches.
Thanks to his being body-slammed to the turf by the Lions’ Jarrad Davis this past weekend, Jermaine Gresham is in danger of missing the Indianapolis matchup. The cheap shot caused rib damage to the Cardinals’ starting tight end, and evoked a fine from the league (for a measly $9,115, what a joke). Backup Troy Niklas is dealing with a hip issue, so old friend Jim Dray has returned to the nest to provide insurance for the position. Also, Ifeanyi Momah should see an increase in snaps if Gresham and Niklas are sidelined.
This coming Sunday will be a great time for Arizona’s benchwarmers to show their worth. A chance to show the coaching staff that their playing time should be increased. And to prove that Arians “next man up” credo is not just coachspeak.