The Arizona Cardinals will see a multitude of position battles throughout training camp, and early on, there are some who already looked to have gotten an edge at their respective positions. While things can change once the preseason games begin, the way they stand now, we may see some faces we didn’t expect to see playing a prominent role with the Redbirds.
Below, you will meet three players who could be in danger of losing their roster spots to younger talent. A couple of names listed may surprise you, but since the Cardinals are going in a younger direction, it makes more sense to roll with their fresher talent if they continue playing well.
3 Arizona Cardinals already in danger of falling down the depth chart
1 - Zach Ertz, TE
Tight end Zach Ertz is already in an unfortunate position because he can only stand by and watch as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. Ertz is also 32 and entering his 11th season, so on a young football team, that also puts the former Pro Bowl tight end behind the eight-ball.
Throughout the summer, I pegged Ertz in as the TE2 when he eventually returned, but now, that status could be in jeopardy with Noah Togiai’s emergence early on. While Togiai has yet to prove he can put up the same kind of performance in a game situation, he could at least challenge Ertz if he plays well throughout the preseason.
2 - Antonio Hamilton, CB
Like Ertz, Hamilton is at the age 30 threshold on a young football team, and so far, things aren’t looking good for him in camp. While Hamilton enjoys a staunch veteran and leadership presence, the Arizona Cardinals are naturally looking to get younger at every position, so it shouldn’t surprise you that Christian Matthew and Kei’Trel Clark are getting a harder look with the First Team defense.
For Hamilton, this means he could open the season as the CB5 - since safety Jalen Thompson has recently seen time at slot corner. When rookie Garrett Williams returns and is ready to debut, Hamilton could be nothing more than a depth and special teams piece.
3 - Kelvin Beachum, OT
As it stands, Beachum hasn’t been practicing with the starters like we believed he would. Instead, we’ve primarily seen D.J. Humphries and Paris Johnson Jr. as the tackles while Beachum has taken a back seat.
And once again, it makes sense for what the Arizona Cardinals are trying to achieve here in potentially moving the 12-year veteran into a backup or rotational role. If Johnson and the rest of the starters on the offensive line continue to perform well, then Beachum may take up a bench role this season.