After a day off, the Cardinals got back to work in Flagstaff, preparing for their first preseason game this weekend. Practice was mostly “by-the-book” until running back Beanie Wells failed to get up after a tackle by safety Hamza Abdullah and had to be carted off the field. Reports are a CT scan showed no fractures in his ribs and he is considered day-to-day. On a positive note, several players returned to practice while others continue to set themselves apart.
Highlights: Defensive end Calais Campbell looked unstoppable during pass-rush drills. Campbell is working to shed his nickname in 2009: “Almost.” The third-year defensive lineman had a solid season with 7.5 sacks, but many of his teammates say he should have had 12. Getting to the quarterback is a talent of Campbell’s, but he needs to improve his tackling technique in order to move to the next level.
If you make it up to Flagstaff, keep an eye on the quarterbacks when they break out the trash cans. It is a friendly competition where the signal callers take shots at making it in a trash can. The game is a fan-favorite, drawing reaction from the gallery with each throw. Monday saw several close calls and fierce competition between backups John Skelton and Max Hall (Hall won 2-1).
Middle linebacker Paris Lenon is setting himself apart from the rest of the pack. Coach Ken Whisenhunt singled out the new free agent as a dependable presence at a position in need of consistency. Lenon had been penciled in as a starter before camp started and, with incumbent starter Gerald Hayes expected to miss the start of the season, Lenon’s play becomes that much more crucial.
Roster Move: To create competition at the fullback position, Arizona waived injured fullback Charles Ali and signed Reagan Maui’a, whom the team released before camp started. This will be Maui’a’s third stint with the team.
Quote of the Day: “It happens. We compete. Lot of people think it’s Larry and DRC out there but we have several other talented receivers, Steven Breaston being one of them.”
-Wide Receiver Steve Breaston on competing with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Injuries: Wells’ injury broke the cycle of players returning to practice on Monday. Tight ends Jim Dray and Anthony Becht were back in pads, as was cornerback Trumaine McBride. However, tight end Dominique Byrd (hamstring) and linebacker Reggie Walker (undisclosed) missed time.
The Big Red will continue their training camp in Flagstaff leading up to their first preseason game this Saturday against the Houston Texans.
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