It’s Preseason Week 2, and you can expect the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs to play their projected starters for an extended period. But for the Cards, there are still several ongoing position battles that have no end in sight, like for starting left guard, slot receiver, and the second starting corner slot.
Therefore, you can still expect to see players rotating in and out of those respective positions as they seek to gain an edge over their teammates. But in other cases, there are a few would-be position battles that appear to be done deals.
These were battles we thought would be at least somewhat intense heading into the 2023 season. But thanks to the players seizing and running away with an opportunity, you can more than expect them to line up as starters when the regular season kicks off on September 10th.
3 Arizona Cardinals position battles that are already over
1 - Starting Center - Hjalte Froholdt
We thought there could be a potentially three-way battle for the starting center spot heading into training camp featuring Hjalte Frotholdt, Pat Elflein, and Jon Gaines II. But following Hjalte Froholdt’s performance in last week’s win vs. the Denver Broncos and the fact he’s maintained a hold on the position since Day One, he will enter the first week of 2023 as the starting center.
Froholdt may have toiled through the first few years of his career primarily as a backup. But given his familiarity with the system offensive coordinator Drew Petzing is implementing coupled with his overall solid play, he will be an incredible asset for the Cardinals line this season.
If Froholdt plays better than expected this year, don’t be surprised to see general manager Monti Ossenfort ink the center to an extension. At 27 (come August 20th), Froholdt is young enough to be a fixture on the Cardinals offensive line for another few years, and he can also evolve into a leader on this football team.