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John Abraham Isn't Dreaming Hall Call Yet

Posted Dec 13, 2013

Notebook: Watford waits his turn; tight end Housler doubtful to play Sunday

Linebacker John Abraham sacks Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens for a safety last weekend, one of three sacks for Abraham in the game.

He’s top 10 all-time now in sacks, surpassing Hall of Famers like Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O’Neal, and a hotter pass rusher you will not find.

Yet John Abraham said he wasn’t thinking about a time when he too would end up in the Hall of Fame. Not really.

“I am still playing,” the 35-year-old linebacker said. “When I am passing Lawrence and getting in the top 10, it comes up. I don’t think it’s big for me right now. I’ll probably notice it more when I am done. Right now I don’t even think I’m close to being done, so I don’t see it being something I’m harping on.

“It’s definitely something I would love, but right now I’m just trying to stack my numbers the best I can and play as good of football as I can.”

With 133 sacks in his career, Abraham resides in ninth place all time. Of the eight players ahead of him, five are already in the Hall of Fame and the other three – Kevin Greene, Michael Strahan and Jason Taylor – are all probable to eventually make it in themselves.

If Abraham can compile another 10 sacks between now and the end of 2014 – he is under contract with the Cardinals through next season – he would be fifth all-time, just ahead of good friend Michael Strahan (141½).

Coach Bruce Arians said he thinks Abraham has the sack numbers to be in the Hall of Fame, but it is the other things Abraham has provided, like leadership and run defense, that has made Abraham such a great signing.

After all but promising double-digit sacks when he arrived, Abraham now has 11 this season, all in the last seven games.

“My goal is to help us win,” Abraham said. “If I can get two or three or four sacks these next three games, I’ll be glad as long as we win. I’m not, ‘If I get 15 sacks and we lose I’ve had a good season.’ I’m not like that. Getting sacks is good when you win. It always feels better when you win. Right now, sacks and forcing turnovers helps us win.”

WATFORD WAITS AND LEARNS

Guard Earl Watford, a fourth-round pick, has been inactive for all but two games this season and did not appear in the two games for which he did dress. Getting a chance to play in the final three games at this point looks unlikely barring injury given the Cardinals’ offensive line makeup.

“It’s difficult but like some of the older guys say, you just have to wait your turn,” Watford said. “Keep learning getting better, keep working on technique.”

The idea at some point in the future is for the Cardinals to have a pair of homegrown guards with Watford and first-round pick Jonathan Cooper. Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, also the team’s offensive line coach, said he pays attention to Watford closely as the rookie works on scout team.

“He’s starting to be more vocal and understanding what we are doing,” Goodwin said. “It’s just a matter of time before he gets to chime in and help us a little bit.”

Watford doesn’t know when that will be, but he is trying to stay patient.

“It’s not what I want to be doing,” Watford said. “Sometimes you are feeling I’m not doing enough, but in the end I am trying to get the defense better and myself better at the same time.”

HOUSLER DOUBTFUL TO PLAY; PALMER, FLOYD QUESTIONABLE AGAIN

Tight end Rob Housler (groin) is doubtful to play Sunday after missing his third straight practice Friday, although Arians said they will take a look at Housler over the weekend to see if he improves. Quarterback Carson Palmer (right elbow) and wide receiver Michael Floyd (ankle) are officially questionable, but both players are expected to be available.

For the Titans, every player on the injury report practiced full Friday, although cornerback Alterraun Verner (groin) and linebacker Akeem Ayers (groin) are listed as questionable.

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