Safety Kerry Rhodes easing back into action

(Getty)

Safety Kerry Rhodes played in nickel packages against Cleveland in his return after missing eight games.

LINEUP WATCH: Safety Kerry Rhodes played in nickel packages against Cleveland in his return after missing eight games due to a broken foot. The Cardinals want to work Rhodes back into the starting lineup gradually over a couple of weeks. He practiced on a limited basis for a week, then fully for another week before returning against the Browns. Rhodes played about half the defensive snaps, mainly in a traditional safety role. It appears he is healthy coming out of the game and the plan is to put him back in the starting lineup this week. Rashad Johnson has done a solid job replacing Rhodes in the base defense. Richard Marshall played safety in sub packages while Rhodes was out.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Cardinals have been horrible at converting on third downs for the last two seasons. There are several factors involved but none bigger than poor quarterback play. In the playoff seasons of 2008-09, the Cardinals converted 35 to 40 percent of the time. They had Kurt Warner as their starter then. In the last two years, the rate has been under 30 percent. It's one symptom of the team's larger struggles on offense. The running back is inconsistent, and quarterbacks have not been accurate, nor protected well.

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