The injuries that have hampered Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert throughout his career are still an issue
When Marcus Gilbert was traded to the Arizona Cardinals back in March, he brought with him a reputation for being extremely fragile. The offensive tackle, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth-round draft pick, has experienced a wide variety of injuries throughout his career. Perhaps the Cards were hoping that the warm desert air would help Gilbert overcome the bumps and bruises that have plagued him for years.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the Cardinals are going to be so lucky. Gilbert hurt his knee during a practice on Thursday, and will miss the club’s season-opener against the Detroit Lions this weekend. The mishap is actually par for the course for a player who has dressed in all 16 games just twice during his eight years in the NFL.
Gilbert, who was a second-round choice of the Steelers in 2011, has suited up for just 87 of a possible 128 matchups. Four of the absences were due to a suspension that the blocker was slapped with in 2017, thanks to his testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The remaining 37 contests that Gilbert missed, however, were due to the fact that he was simply too banged up to perform.
Not having Gilbert in the starting lineup versus Detroit is going to put the Arizona offense in a tough spot. It’s being reported that the 32-year old will be replaced by either Justin Murray or Brett Toth, two candidates who are woefully inexperienced. Murray has appeared just twice in a professional game, while Toth is an undrafted rookie who the Cards plucked off of the waiver wire last weekend.
There are two other players who the Cardinals could also decide to go with at right tackle. Seventh-round pick Joshua Miles is a 6’6, 310 pounder out of Morgan State University. Another name surfaced last week, when head coach Kliff Kingsbury stated that center/guard Mason Cole could “get us through a game at tackle” if they needed him to.
The right tackle predicament is far from an ideal situation for Arizona, no matter who ends up getting the start. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray’s well-being is at stake. With a little luck, the Cards will get the perpetually-brittle Gilbert back in time for week two.