The Arizona Cardinals are heading into a couple of days worth of joint practice sessions with the Minnesota Vikings before the two teams square off in their preseason finale this Saturday. Arizona is coming off of a dreary performance vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun and get bold about three standout projected backups or fringe players.
There will be a lot of big things happening this weekend for the Cards, as for many players, it’s their last chance to show they deserve a place on the final roster, or at least on the practice squad. But for one Cardinal listed below at #1, he still has a chance to prove he belongs with the starters.
3 predictions for Arizona Cardinals preseason finale
1 - Clayton Tune scores a 100-plus quarterback rating
Clayton Tune has wowed us in a pair of preseason games, but he’s also posted very average numbers. Some of that is on him, but you can also blame his pass catchers - especially in last week’s outing when there were at least three dropped passes.
This week, Tune makes one last-ditch effort to win the starting job over Colt McCoy for Week 1. He’s already escaped pressure and made plays with his legs, and it will happen again this weekend. But Tune will also air it out and, nope, he won’t be sailing his throws in this one, tossing a pair of touchdown passes and completing 64% of his throws.
2 - Kyle Soelle leads Cardinals with six tackles, two behind the line
Kyle Soelle is one of five fringe players who can lock their way onto the Arizona Cardinals roster this week with an epic finish to the preseason. Over the past two weeks, Soelle has been productive, but this week, he’s putting everything together that he’s learned over camp and in the preseason, and will invade the backfield on several occasions, snagging two stops behind the line.
This should be enough to convince the Redbirds to keep Soelle, though it could mean dropping Owen Pappoe to the practice squad in the season’s early going. But at this point, the better rookie needs to be on the roster, regardless of draft status.
3 - Jacob Slade makes his case
Most of the Cardinals backups had a rough time on defense last week, but Jacob Slade wasn’t one of them. Fan Nation’s Donnie Druin recently shared PFF’s Top 5 highest-ranked Redbirds from Preseason Week 2 and Slade clocked in fifth with a 78.9 grade.
Druin noted Slade only saw 14 snaps, but it’s safe to say he made the most of them. Look for Slade to see more playing time this week, and if he enjoys a repeat performance, there is a strong likelihood he earns a spot on the roster. In a worst-case scenario, he’s practice squad material.