The injury bug has dealt the Arizona Cardinals more than a few massive blows this season, and now, star linebacker Kyzir White landed himself on injured reserve thanks to a biceps injury. Earlier in the season, the same thing happened to Carlos Watkins and L.J. Collier, and now, White is the latest victim.
The good news is that the Cards have players with an opportunity to step up and show they can be effective assets in the wake of White’s season-ending ailment. Two of them are already part of the position group, but the third name could end up finding himself back there in some packages, where it will do him well to make the most of it.
One player we won't mention is Krys Barnes, who has played well when given an opportunity, as evidenced by his 84.3 PFF Grade. As for the other three linebackers listed, they may find themselves on thinner ice if and when they get their respective chances.
3 Arizona Cardinals linebackers who must step up after White’s injury
1 - Josh Woods
Josh Woods has eight games and four starts under his belt this season with 39 combined tackles to show for it. Not a bad number, but Woods also has just one tackle behind the line, one quarterback hit, and a half-sack, so his productivity hasn’t been outstanding.
However, Woods has been given plenty of chances to show he's more than just a solid special teams player. There is also a chance Zeke Turner gets a look if Woods continues to falter. But as an established special-teamer for the same franchise who hasn’t been given the same opportunity in his six seasons, Woods is the one who gets the call and needs to step up while Turner likely sticks to special teams duties.
If Woods shows he can be as effective on defense as he is on special teams, then he could see more snaps heading into 2024 as part of a rotation. However, if he doesn’t make plays, there is a rookie who may be ready to come out of nowhere and seize the opportunity.