The Arizona Cardinals were back in full pads Tuesday, with a few members of the flock still missing. The team migrated inside NAU’s Walkup Skydome due to the rain as the indoors set off separate altercations with the same players. With game two of the preseason less than a week away, several players continue to stand out as the team progresses through their third week of training camp.
Highlights: Despite missing extended time with a knee sprain, Larry Fitzgerald is still contributing; coaching up the young receivers and helping out all over the field. Towards the end of practice, Fitz even played quarterback, a position he reminds his teammates that he used to play.
Tight end Stephen Spach might have missed his calling as a hockey player. It seems like every other day the veteran is mixing it up with someone new. Tuesday, it was linebacker Stevie Baggs on the receiving end of Spach’s “fury” as the pair was involved in separate skirmishes through the course of practice. The altercations were little more than face-mask grabbing and some pushing, but certainly showed the “sense of urgency” Ken Whisenhunt was hoping to see from his players this week.
Every day, it seems rookie wide receiver Stephen Williams impresses everyone in attendance. During the two-minute drill, Williams caught a long 42-yard bomb from Matt Leinart for an apparent touchdown. Williams was ruled out-of-bounds on the catch, but it was still a fantastic play that earned loud cheers from the gallery. At this point, Williams definitely appears on the right side of the bubble for a roster spot, but some highlight-worthy plays in the remaining preseason games should seal it for him.
Injuries: After suffering whiplash in a car accident yesterday, safety Aaron Rouse was back in Flagstaff, sporting a neck brace and will be sitting out of practice until cleared.
Wide receiver depth has become an issue with both Fitzgerald and Early Doucet (abdominal) continuing to miss time. Ed Gant (foot) did return to action on Tuesday, but his work was limited.
Whisenhunt did touch on linebacker Gerald Hayes’ rehabilitation from back surgery at Tuesday’s media presser, saying it was progressing well. Whiz called the next couple weeks “critical” for Hayes’ chances of returning by the season opener.
Quote of the Day: “Everyone in there is a man and everyone has to be responsible for their actions. That’s something, as a defense, we understand. I think down to a man, you have to be accountable. If you make the same mistakes, you’re probably not going to play. You’re probably not going to be on the field. And you’re probably not going to be on the film.” –Safety Adrian Wilson on the team’s film sessions during meetings
Follow Ryan Knowles on Twitter: @RyKno52
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