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Drew Stanton Keeps Cardinals Laughing

Posted Nov 7, 2017

Notes: Cardinals love quarterback's personality; Freeney and Jordan return; Earl Thomas iffy

Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton speaks with the media after Sunday's win in San Francisco.

Drew Stanton held his weekly press conference with the media on Monday, but at times, it felt like a stand-up comedy show.

As questions were zinged toward him, the Cardinals quarterback had his quips at the ready. The offense might be in a tough spot without starting quarterback Carson Palmer for an extended period, but one thing seems clear: the pressure is not going to weigh on his replacement.

“Some people can misconstrue that laid-back sense of humor as a smartass, and I’ve definitely gotten that a lot throughout the course of my career,” Stanton said. “I feel like I’ve even matured a little bit over the years, so it was probably even worse initially. I feel like that’s one thing I’ve always tried to do throughout my entire career.

“We make it hard enough on ourselves. We take everything so serious, and it should be serious. It’s very important, but at the same time, we need to go out and have fun and you only do that by being able to relax and play at your potential.”

Left tackle D.J. Humphries, a jovial sort himself, said Stanton’s easygoing nature is an asset in the huddle. And he confirmed Stanton’s belief in how his wit is interpreted.

“The biggest smartass I know,” Humphries said with a smile. “You’ve got to love that about him.”

In a sport where team chemistry can help performance, Stanton checks the personality box.

“If you can’t get along with Drew, something is wrong with you,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “He’s got one of those personalities where, I don’t care what color you are, age, doesn’t matter, Drew is a guy that everybody loves. He’s the kind of guy that, if you had a sister, you’d be fine with her dating him. He’s that quality of a person.”

DWIGHT FREENEY, DION JORDAN RETURN TO ARIZONA

Two years ago, Dwight Freeney enjoyed a career resurgence with the Cardinals, picking up eight sacks in 11 games. At age 37, he continues to surge. The Seahawks picked up the veteran pass-rusher last month and he’s generated pressure at a high rate in two games. Coach Pete Carroll was asked in a Tuesday conference call if he’s surprised by Freeney’s quick impact.

“I am,” Carroll said. “He’s jumped on the scene. He’s not played very many plays, and he’s been involved with some really good pressure as well as two-and-a-half sacks. He’s had a couple of other great rushes, too, where he was right on the verge of getting to the quarterback.”

Freeney will return to Arizona for “Thursday Night Football,” and Dion Jordan will also be in tow. The former star at Chandler High School was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft but hasn’t played since 2014 because of suspensions and injuries. The defensive end could return to the field against the Cardinals.

“He’s endured a lot, and he’s overcome a lot,” Carroll said. “So now, it’s time to go have fun playing the game he loves.”

EARL THOMAS COULD BE A GAME-DAY DECISION

Star Seattle safety Earl Thomas missed Sunday’s loss to Washington with a hamstring injury, and his availability for Thursday is up in the air. Carroll said the decision will be made on the day of the game.

“When you take Earl out of there, it’s a different defense,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s just such a great player.”

The Cardinals and Seahawks both conducted walkthroughs on Tuesday, so their injury reports were an approximation of a player’s level of participation had he gone through a full practice. For the Cardinals, only wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) and wide receiver Chad Williams (back) were listed as limited.

For the Seahawks, Thomas was listed as not practicing, as were tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle), guard Luke Joeckel (knee), running back Eddie Lacy (groin), cornerback Richard Sherman (Achilles), linebacker D.J. Alexander (ankle), defensive end Marcus Smith (concussion), tackle Rees Odhiambo (finger) and wide receiver Paul Richardson (groin). Fullback Tre Madden (calf) was placed on injured reserve.

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