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Mike Iupati Likely Headed To IR

Posted Sep 29, 2017

Offensive line injuries continue as guard needs surgery; Boone also could miss a couple of games

Cardinals guard Mike Iupati will probably be placed on injured reserve.

The Cardinals’ offensive line troubles just won’t fade.

Left guard Mike Iupati, who hasn’t played since the opener, needs surgery to repair a bone spur in his elbow, and will likely be put on injured reserve, coach Bruce Arians said Friday. Fellow guard Alex Boone, who had replaced Iupati, is out “probably two weeks” with a pectoral injury.

Arians said Iupati’s bone spur broke off and is cutting his tendon. Iupati tried to play with it.

The Cards had hoped to get left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) back for Sunday’s game, but Arians couldn’t commit to that, saying only “we’ll see.”

If Humphries cannot go, the Cardinals are dangerously low on experienced linemen for the left side. John Wetzel can (and will) play either guard or tackle. Beyond that, the Cardinals are down to rookie Will Holden – a natural tackle who has played guard in the preseason, and whom Arians had named earlier as the third tackle choice behind Humphries and Wetzel – and center/guard Daniel Munyer.

“Whoever is out there, we just have to work every week,” Wetzel said. “We have a lot to improve on in general.”

The Cardinals will probably make a roster move before the game, Arians said. They have tackle Vinston Painter – who has played in the NFL – and rookie guard Dorian Johnson on the practice squad.

Jared Veldheer will continue to start at right tackle, with Evan Boehm at right guard and A.Q. Shipley at center.

“They just have to step up and play,” Arians said. “We always believe in the next man. That’s no bull. That’s the real thing. Your job is that you’re the starter. Play like one.”

Defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who aggravated his calf injury in practice Thursday, has also been ruled out of Sunday’s game.

On a positive note, Arians said both linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle) and wide receiver John Brown (quad) are going to play Sunday. Bucannon will be making his season debut. Brown has not played since the opener.

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