The Arizona Cardinals are heading into their week six matchup with a plethora of injuries at the outside linebacker position
Earlier this week, the Arizona Cardinals had to come to terms with some awful news. Chandler Jones, the organization’s superstar pass rusher, was placed on the injured-reserve list. The Cards starting outside linebacker would be lost for the year after suffering a torn biceps last Sunday against the New York Jets.
To make matters worse, Arizona’s latest injury report revealed that several other members of the squad’s outside linebacker group are hurting as well. As a result, the club may be dangerously thin at the position when they tangle with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football this week.
After exiting last weekend’s clash with the Jets, Jones was replaced in the lineup by one of the Cardinals most unheralded players. Dennis Gardeck, who sees most of his action on special teams, came through in a big way for coordinator Vance Joseph‘s defensive unit. The Cards undrafted free agent from two years ago registered two quarterback sacks, more than the slumping Jones had recorded all season.
Now, four days later, Gardeck is dealing with an injured foot. The 26-year old sat out practice on Thursday, but indicated to reporters that he fully expects to play when the Cardinals take on Dallas this coming Monday.
Devon Kennard, the Arizona starter who has missed the last two contests, practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday. A strained calf has kept the free agent pickup on the sideline, but there’s real hope that the 29-year old could be back in the lineup this week.
Another of the Cards edge rushers, Kylie Fitts, is also hobbled. The 26-year old backup is nursing a bum hamstring, and is currently listed as questionable for the tussle with the Cowboys.
The Cardinals did add some depth at the spot on Thursday. Isaiah Irving, who suited up for the Chicago Bears for three campaigns (2017-19), was signed off of the Denver Broncos practice squad. The 26-year old Irving totaled 27 tackles, four quarterback hits and a sack in 33 appearances with the Bears.
Haason Reddick, Arizona’s first-round pick in 2017, will get the start at one of the outside linebacker posts against Dallas. Kennard will be lining up opposite Reddick if he’s ready to return. The Redbirds will have an extra day this week to get healthy, an additional 24 hours that Cards linebacker coach Bill Davis will undoubtedly appreciate.