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Left Tackle: Jared Veldheer or D.J. Humphries?

Posted Jan 2, 2017

Notes: Goodwin to have head coaching interviews; Arians says health is good -- except shoulder

The Cardinals need to make a decision this offseason about whether Jared Veldheer (68) or D.J. Humphries -- both natural left tackles -- will start on the left side in 2017 and who will be on the right.

Jared Veldheer wants to play left tackle. D.J. Humphries wouldn’t quite go that far, although he enjoyed his time at left tackle.

Both, however, will be paying attention to the position going forward.

“It was fun,” Humphries said about his time at left tackle. “Interested to see how it plays out from here, though.”

Veldheer was the starting left tackle and Humphries – a natural left tackle – the starter on the right side until Veldheer had a season-ending triceps injury.  Humphries then moved over, until his season ended early because of a concussion.

“We’re very fortunate – we have two,” coach Bruce Arians said. “It’s just who plays left and who plays right. We’ll make those decisions later.”

Arians has praised the work Humphries did on the left side. In the meantime, both Veldheer and Humphries said they are prepared for either choice.

“When you’re not playing you are looking at it from a different perspective and see some of the stuff that doesn’t necessarily have to do with you,” Veldheer said. “It’s something I have thought about, and I will ask around and try and get a feel about that. Prepare myself for however I need to prepare myself in the offseason.”

That said, Veldheer acknowledged he wants to stay on the left side. “It’s just where everything is more comfortable,” he said, noting he’s played there since his redshirt freshman year of college.

Humphries said he doesn’t know which way the coaching staff will go – “No clue. Way above my pay grade,” he said – but added he just wants to be on the field again.

“I’m confident in myself either way,” Humphries said.

GOODWIN HEAD COACHING INTERVIEWS

Arians said offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin will have head coaching interviews with three teams: The Jaguars, Rams and Bills.

Unless Goodwin gets a head coaching job, Arians said he won’t have any changes to the coaching staff.

“We will have everybody back,” Arians said. “They are the same coaching staff that won all of those games.”

ON ARIANS AND HIS HEALTH

Arians has said multiple times he is coaching in 2017, despite a couple of in-season hospital trips and speculation about his future because of his health.

“Probably as healthy as I’ve been,” Arians said. “Hopefully I don’t get sick. I’ve been doing a lot of work with a couple of different doctors and it seems to be working.”

Arians’ biggest concern is his offseason golf game, after the hard hug he received from wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald at the end of the Seattle game jacked up his shoulder.

“I just got it injected and will see if I have surgery on it,” Arians said.

NO FITZ TALK – AT LEAST FROM ARIANS

Running back David Johnson said he had been lobbying teammate Larry Fitzgerald to play again in 2017 and not retire, although Johnson admitted he has no idea how Fitzgerald is leaning. Arians reiterated he won’t get involved.

“That’s a strictly personal thing for Larry to decide,” Arians said. “Does he want to continue to be the warrior that he is, how his body feels, does he want to continue to train and do all of those things to come back and try to get that championship? Obviously I have my fingers crossed that he does, but there’s nothing I can do to be a part of that decision.”

TIME TO HEAL

Veldheer said his torn triceps muscle was about halfway through its four-month rehab process and he said he was optimistic he would be ready for offseason on-field work when it begins in May.

Humphries said he was still officially in concussion protocol after missing the final three games. He said it was his first concussion. Money linebacker Deone Bucannon said the ankle that finally sidelined him late in the year had been a problem since Week 4.

MATHIS DONE

It was always assumed this was guard Evan Mathis’ final season – he said when he signed last year he had been leaning toward retirement before the Cardinals approached him – and the veteran reiterated it Monday. Asked if he was definitely retiring, Mathis said “unless I can play defensive end.”

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