When asked about the good, the bad and the ugly of training camp earlier this week, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the bad would be injuries but “we haven’t been that bad.”
That changed Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Cardinals suffered a laundry list of injuries in a 24-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers, the most devastating being a broken left fibula for starting left guard and first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper. Cooper could be out for the season, although Arians said there remains hope Cooper could come back later on.
MRIs are coming for running back
“We can correct the way we played,” Arians said. “We can’t correct the injuries.”
Cooper’s injury will be the hardest. There was a reason Cooper was taken seventh overall, the
“I’m not taking anything off the table yet, but right now, I’m the right guard,” Colledge said. “Chilo stepped in and played and we scored a touchdown. I would assume tomorrow he’s the left guard but I’d also assume that it’s an open competition between him and every other guard available.”
Arians said he didn’t know what direction the Cardinals would go yet.
“That’s why they preach depth,” center
That will be the lingering problem from Saturday. The Cards (2-1) at least can immediate flush the rest, which featured what Arians called “probably the dumbest first 30 minutes of football I’ve ever seen.”
“You never see that kind of game coming the way we had been practicing,” Arians said. “It’s disheartening but we will come back. We will learn from it.”
There were missed blocks and dropped passes, poor routes and bad throws. Cornerback
“We’d take one step forward and two steps back it felt like the whole day,” wide receiver
The sequence that underscored the problems of the first half came late. Trailing 7-0, the Cardinals put together a good offensive drive, reached the red zone and should have ended with a touchdown when facing third-and-goal from the San Diego 8.
Palmer hit an open Rob Housler cutting across the end zone – except the tight end had the ball ricochet off his body for a painful incompletion. On the next play, the 26-yard field goal by new kicker
The Chargers methodically moved down the field and had a first down at the Arizona 1. With 36 seconds left in the half, defensive end
Acho caught the ball, but was immediately hit by tight end Antonio Gates, forcing a second fumble. The ball popped in the air at the Arizona 3, where tight end John Phillips grabbed it and rumbled into the end zone.
“That,” Arians said, “was absolutely asinine.”
Said Johnson, “Just a dumb play. No excuse with what happened.”
There was a bright spot, with the Cardinals running for 120 yards on 18 carries. Mendenhall, before he left the game, gained 47 yards on six carries.
Arians wasn’t happy with the performance, but acknowledged he wasn’t overly concerned because the Cards had done well in camp and the preseason up until this point. His message? “Don’t do it again. Please don’t do it again.”
The injuries can’t be asked away, however, not even nicely. The loss of Cooper not only is a blow to the offensive line, but it’s an emotional blow the Cards much quickly overcome.
“That’s the price you pay in preseason sometimes,” Arians said.