Cardinals trying to win with injury-riddled roster
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — If the Arizona Cardinals are to win their final two games to finish at 8-8, they’ll need to rely on their depth.
The injury report had 15 players listed who either missed or were limited in practice. The situation improved Friday after physical issues and illness had an impact Wednesday and Thursday.
Three players will not play Sunday at home against the New York Giants — linebacker Josh Bynes, tight end Troy Niklas and offensive lineman Earl Watford, all with ankle injuries. The rest were able to practice to some degree Friday, though a limited practice doesn’t mean they will all be active.
Bynes, Niklas and Watford didn’t practice all week, and four other players missed two of three practices. One of those was running back Kerwynn Williams, who was limited on Friday with injuries to his quadriceps and ribs.
“That’s just something that happens to every team, and that’s something you have to be prepared for as a player,” Williams said. “I feel pretty good. At this point in the year, everybody’s got something going on, but I just really try to stay focused on what I’ve got going and stay focused each week.”
Williams has been the No. 1 running back the past three weeks, but his injuries have him questionable for Sunday.
The Cardinals have been hit hard by injuries this season. Twenty-eight players have combined to miss 144 games this season, and 14 players are on injured reserve, including running backs David Johnson and Adrian Peterson, quarterback Carson Palmer and Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati.
Of 22 starting players in Week 11, just 10 started last week’s game at Washington, the lowest total in the NFL.
The seventh offensive line combination of the season started last week. But tackle John Wetzel got in his first full practice on Friday and is expected to play Sunday.
The defensive line rotation seems likely to include Corey Peters and Robert Nkemdiche, who both practiced in full on Friday.
NOTES: Head coach Bruce Arians was asked if he’s thought about this coming week being the last of his coaching career, should he retire at season’s end. “No, not at all,” he said. “I don’t think about those things until the time for them.” ... The Cardinals signed LB Edmond Robinson to the practice squad on Friday, placing WR Carlton Agudosi (hamstring) on practice squad injured reserve. Robinson played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 and 2016. ... The Cardinals announced that the University of Phoenix Stadium roof will be open for this Sunday’s game, with temperatures expected in the low 70s in the afternoon.