The Arizona Cardinals could quite possibly be ill-prepared for the losses they’ll have at cornerback early on in the season
Back in February, the Arizona Cardinals front office got off to an impressive headstart on the free agency period. To the delight of many of the club’s fans, general manager Steve Keim went out and signed Robert Alford . After years of ill-fated attempts, it appeared as if the Cards had finally filled the void at the number-two cornerback spot.
The good vibes that were generated by the acquisition of Alford took a huge hit three months later. NFL officials quelled Arizona’s optimism a bit with the announcement that perennial Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson would be suspended for using PEDs. The squad’s top cover guy would have to sit for six games, a devastating blow to a defense that’s hoping to get back on track in 2019.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the bad luck for the secondary would not end with the Peterson predicament. On August 16th, the team revealed that Alford had suffered a broken tibia during a practice. One of the Cards most prized offseason additions has been placed on injured reserve, and will be sidelined for a minimum of eight weeks.
The absences of Peterson and Alford could present a disastrous situation for coordinator Vance Joseph‘s defense. Corners such as Tramaine Brock, Byron Murphy, Chris Jones and the newly-acquired Kevin Peterson will attempt to hold down the fort until Arizona’s starting duo returns. Brock is the only one of the group who possesses significant NFL experience, so things could get ugly fairly quickly for Joseph’s crew.
It was believed that Keim would be on the lookout for some cornerback help this past weekend when final cuts were made. The Cardinals did add Kevin Peterson, but the 25-year old has appeared in just six professional contests. Besides his lack of experience, the former Los Angeles Ram also missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL.
There is a cover guy who was released by the Philadephia Eagles this past Friday who may be a better option. Orlando Scandrick tallied 44 tackles,13 passes defensed and an interception for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. The 32-year old has racked up 443 tackles, nine picks and 76 pass breakups during his 10 years in the league.
For now, it appears that the Cards are going to roll with the corners that they currently have on their roster. Perhaps those players will rise to the occasion. If they can’t, the next six weeks could be excruciatingly long for Arizona’s defensive backfield.