The Arizona Cardinals practiced at home for the first time in over a week, coming off their second win of the preseason Saturday night in Chicago.
All eyes were on coach Ken Whisenhunt and the quarterback position after both candidates for the starting job made strong campaigns over the weekend. Matt Leinart made his dislike of the situation known to the media after practice.
"I feel like I've outplayed the competition, training camp, preseason," he said. "I think my plays speaks about that. For me, this goes beyond the football field. The philosophy is you want the best 11 guys to play. I feel like I've proved that with my performance. I don't really know what else I could possibly do, so it probably goes beyond football. For me, I just really want an explanation and I haven't been given one.”
Leinart’s preseason numbers (19-23, 161 yards, TD and 110.3 rating) have been better than his counterpart, Derek Anderson (31-53, 287 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs and 70.2 rating), but he has struggled to lead the offense and move the team down the field.
If he fails to earn the starting nod, Leinart’s future with the team has been called into question, making this a major storyline to watch over the next week.
Arizona made a number of roster moves Monday to offset recent injuries and to get under the 75-player roster limit mandated by the NFL.
The Cardinals traded rookie corner Jorrick Calvin to the Philadelphia Eagles for rookie fullback Charlie Scott. Scott, a sixth-round pick from LSU, is expected to push Reagan Maui’a at fullback following Nehemiah Broughton’s season-ending knee injury suffered against Chicago.
Tight end Dominique Byrd, center David Moosman and tackle Casey Knips were released, while receiver Isaiah Williams, recently released by Pittsburgh, was added to the roster. Arizona will need to release three more players by Tuesday to be at the roster limit.
A couple Cards had their wings clipped against the Bears: Running backs Jason Wright (toe) and LaRod Stephens-Howling (concussion) sat out Monday’s practice. Both are not expected to miss much time. Wide receivers Andre Roberts (shoulder) and Larry Fitzgerald (knee) are not expected to play Thursday, while linebacker Gerald Hayes (back) is doubtful to start the season on time. On a positive note, tight end Ben Patrick returned to practice for the first time since dislocating his kneecap in training camp.
The Big Red will continue to practice in Tempe in preparation for their final preseason game Thursday against Washington at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Follow Ryan Knowles on Twitter: @RyKno52
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