The Arizona Cardinals will be taking on the Carolina Panthers with a plethora of key players on this week’s injury report
Several days have passed since the Arizona Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season. The game was a major disappointment, but a win this Sunday over the Carolina Panthers would help us to remove that defeat from the memory bank. A sudden rash of injuries, however, could make achieving victory a much more difficult task for the visiting Cardinals.
The most prominent name on Arizona’s injury list is none other than wideout DeAndre Hopkins, the NFL’s current leader in both receptions and receiving yards. An ankle ailment forced the club’s top offseason acquisition to miss all three practices this past week. Cards head coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Friday that Hopkins will be a game-time decision, so all we can do as fans is keep our fingers crossed that he’ll play.
While one Cardinals wide receiver could possibly be sidelined, another one of their pass-catchers may be returning to the field. Third-year pro Christian Kirk missed last Sunday’s contest with a groin injury that he sustained in a week-two triumph over the Washington football team. Like Hopkins, the 23-year old’s status for the clash with Carolina will also be determined right before kickoff.
The injury bug has bitten Arizona on the defensive side of the ball as well. Safety Budda Baker will be sidelined after he had surgery on his thumb this past Monday. The Cards are hoping that the two-time Pro Bowler will be absent for just one game.
Coordinator Vance Joseph‘s defense may also be without outside linebacker Devon Kennard. The 29-year old is nursing a strained calf, and his availability for Sunday is unknown at this time. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is also questionable after suffering a concussion during the Cardinals practice on Thursday.
There’s no doubt that Kingsbury’s crew will have their work cut out for them this week. The “next man up” mantra will certainly come into play. Whether the Cards will have enough firepower to get past the Panthers remains to be seen.