The Arizona Cardinals may have been better off if center Rodney Hudson would’ve followed through with his threats to retire.
The Arizona Cardinals breathed a huge sigh of relief this past July when center Rodney Hudson told the team he was returning for a 12th NFL season. In hindsight, the organization may have been better off if the three-time Pro Bowler had decided to hang up the cleats.
Hudson has missed four consecutive games for the Cards, thanks to a nagging knee injury that doesn’t appear to be healing. At this point in his career, is Hudson anything more than damaged goods?
Arizona fans were absolutely ecstatic back in March of 2021 when general manager Steve Keim sent a third-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for the rights to Hudson. It was a major upgrade for the offense, especially when you consider the fact that the painfully mediocre Mason Cole logged 14 starts at center for the Redbirds just months before Hudson was acquired.
Arizona Cardinals offense is better with Rodney Hudson in the lineup
Hudson settled in nicely as the anchor of the offensive line, and was a calming influence for quarterback Kyler Murray as well. However, the Alabama native did miss three matchups because of a rib injury, and another two contests after testing positive for COVID-19 during his first campaign with “Big Red”.
Now, 12 months later, the Cardinals are once again dealing with the unavailability of Hudson. Billy Price, a former first-round draft selection of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be the starter until the unreliable veteran returns. The 28-year-old Price has been adequate in Hudson’s absence, but the drop-off in quality is certainly apparent.
On Monday, Cards head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that Hudson will be sidelined again this coming weekend when the team faces the Seattle Seahawks. It’s more than a little concerning that the 33-year-old has been ruled out so quickly. One has to wonder if Hudson will miss even more time beyond Sunday’s crucial meeting with Seattle.
Has the banged-up blocker already put on a Cardinals uniform for the final time? The franchise can only hope that they can squeeze some more production out of the talented but aging Hudson.
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