There are a couple of veteran guards currently on the Arizona Cardinals roster who should be starting as soon as possible
Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer should be pleading for a change. Through a quarter of the season, the 37-year old signal-caller has taken a fierce beating. Palmer may actually be second-guessing his decision to bypass retirement for another go-around with the club.
The change the leader of the Cardinals should be seeking is with the offensive line. Contrary to reports of his demise, Palmer is proving there’s gas left in his tank. If only the five-man wall ahead of him could give him the protection he needs to win ballgames and stay healthy.
There are steps that could be taken to achieve that goal. This week’s signing of former Arizona guard Earl Watford could be the first. The 27-year old veteran failed to make the Jacksonville Jaguars roster after signing with them as a free agent, but could certainly be of help to the Cards.
The player Watford may eventually replace in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, Evan Boehm, is not performing well. The second-year pro was flagged three times this past weekend for holding, and is being thrown around like a ragdoll. The sooner the coaching staff decides that Watford is the better option, the better it will be for Palmer.
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Another step in the process was taken a few weeks ago. That’s when the talented Alex Boone was brought in for depth purposes. The former Minnesota Viking has already made a start, having filled in for an injured Mike Iupati on September 25th versus the Dallas Cowboys.
Boone was injured during that contest however, joining Arizona’s walking wounded with a pectoral strain. It was originally thought that 6’8″, 310 pounder would be out for multiple weeks. Luckily for the Cards, that may not be the case.
Head coach Bruce Arians intimated that Boone could possibly return for Sunday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Last Sunday’s starter at left guard, rookie Will Holden, looked understandably overmatched in the win over the San Francisco 49ers. Boone returning to face a tough Eagles front four would provide a big lift for the Cardinals’ offense.
Injuries combined with inadequate play has turned the team’s offensive line into a major weak spot. A new set of starting guards could help remedy the situation. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.