The Arizona Cardinals Week 17 game may be “meaningless” for most NFL fans, as 3-12 teams just aren’t relevant. But there are several players who will look to take advantage of the final two weeks to make a good impression on the coaching staff and show that they deserve to stay.
The players listed below all came to the Cardinals in different ways, as one was an early-round pick while the other arrived in the middle rounds. The third player listed joined the team in free agency back in March 2023.
But if there is one common denominator linking them all, it’s that they will be replaced in 2024 if they continue to put up subpar results. The Week 17 game against an elite NFL team is a good place to impress a staff who will be looking for long-term assets tomorrow and next Sunday.
3 Arizona Cardinals players who need to perform well in Week 17
1 - Zaven Collins, EDGE
Zaven Collins is the obvious answer here, since it’s clear he has been average at best in 2023. But as a former first-round pick, Collins isn’t supposed to be average, but a solid starter at the absolute least, even amidst a position change.
He’s now gone eight weeks without recording a sack, he’s registered zero tackles for loss in the last six weeks, and no quarterback hits in the previous five. Since he recorded a pair of quarterback pressures in the Cardinals 20-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks back in October, Collins has just three since then, but none came in the form of quarterback hurries or knockdowns.
Weeks 17 and 18 are the moments of truth for Collins, and if he shows zero improvement, he’s another one who could be part of Act II of Monti Ossenfort’s offseason roster overhaul. Collins can’t just enjoy a solid performance starting this Sunday; he needs to take over the game.