The Arizona Cardinals have a solid chance of winning this coming Sunday if they can get some of their injured players back.
The Arizona Cardinals weren’t playing with a full deck last Sunday when they took on the Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury watched helplessly as the Chiefs inflicted a 44-21 beating on his undermanned group of Redbirds.
Even with all hands on board, the Cards may have had a hard time defeating a Kansas City squad that possesses such a tremendous amount of talent. Making things even more difficult for Arizona was the fact that the Chiefs entered last weekend’s clash with very few injuries of their own.
The good news for the Cardinals is that all of the injured players are expected to return at some point this season. With a little luck, the team may even get a few back in time for this week’s intriguing clash with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Several key members of the Arizona Cardinals remain sidelined.
Arizona’s defensive unit looked completely lost on opening day without the presence of five-time Pro Bowler J.J. Watt. The 33-year old sat out the Chiefs matchup with a strained calf, but his return to the practice field on Thursday is certainly a positive development.
Left guard Justin Pugh was also kept of the matchup with Kansas City due to a neck injury. However, the 31-year old was also back out there with his teammates on Thursday, and all signs point to Pugh being available when the Cards visit the Raiders this coming Sunday.
Trayvon Mullen, a cornerback who was acquired in a trade at the end of August, was also a non-participant against the Chiefs. When asked about the cover guy on Wednesday, Kingsbury didn’t seem real confident in Mullen’s chances of playing in week 2.
Another member of the Cardinals roster who isn’t likely to suit up versus Las Vegas is wide receiver Rondale Moore. The 22-year old, last year’s second-round pick, strained his hamstring while practicing for the season-opener.
Tight end Zach Ertz is expected to play a more vital role this week after seeing a limited amount of action against Kansas City. The 31-year old was nursing a calf injury when he was on the receiving end of both a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion attempt last Sunday.
Jalen Thompson was added to the injury report on Wednesday when a toe injury forced him to miss Arizona’s practice. The 24-year old, one of the NFL’s up and coming stars at the safety position, would be a massive loss for the Cardinals defense if he fails to dress against the Raiders.
It appears that Kingsbury and his coaching staff may get a couple of key contributors back for their upcoming battle in “Sin City”. Whether that will result in a Cardinals victory or not remains to be seen.