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Zac Dysert Stays As Future QB Option

Posted Dec 14, 2016

Notes: Mathieu returns to practice field; Scooby Wright may get chance on special teams

Cardinals quarterback Zac Dysert sits on the sideline during a game this season.

If Calais Campbell hadn’t been pushed in such a way that he tumbled into the legs of Ryan Tannehill Sunday, Zac Dysert might still be on the Cardinals’ practice squad.

But the Cardinals defensive tackle did hit the Dolphins quarterback, and Tannehill did suffer an ACL sprain because of it. Miami head coach Adam Gase was looking for a backup for Matt Moore, and Dysert – who played for Gase in Denver and was with the Dolphins in training camp before he was released – was available.

The Cardinals didn’t want to lose Dysert, though, and so, the promotion to the active roster.

“I think he’s got a really good chance to be a good player,” coach Bruce Arians said.

Dysert didn’t particularly want to return to a team that had let him go once – “I wasn’t going to go back there when they already cut me,” he said – although he acknowledged he likely wouldn’t have had a choice had the Cardinals not wanted to promote him.

But he said quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens has been an ally, and he credited fellow QB assistant Byron Leftwich and also Drew Stanton for helping his development.

“He’s picked up the offense extremely quick,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “Very bright, throws it really well. He moves around and looks fluid in the pocket. I think B.A. is spot-on with that comment, I said the same thing. He’s bounced around a little bit but I think he’s found a good spot here.”

Dysert, who was active for the Cardinals in San Francisco this season when Palmer missed a game with a concussion, said he’s grown as a quarterback and that he loves Arians’ offense. He also isn’t unaware that Palmer is nearing the end of his career and the Cardinals are seeking a long-term solution at the position.

“I just thought this was the best for me,” Dysert said.

MATHIEU WAIT-AND-SEE FOR SUNDAY

Safety Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past two weeks because of his bad shoulder. It was encouraging, he said, but said he still was unsure if he will be able to play Sunday against his hometown New Orleans Saints.

“Ty moved great,” Arians said. “We’ll see how he moves tomorrow.”

Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald took their normal Wednesday off. Tackle D.J. Humphries was out while he remains in concussion protocol. Wide receiver John Brown (sickle cell) missed Wednesday as has been his habit while he manages his issue, but Arians sounded optimistic he could increase his snaps Sunday. Tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee) also didn’t practice.

Mathieu was limited, as were linebacker Markus Golden (ankle), cornerback Marcus Cooper (back), safety Tony Jefferson (shoulder) and wide receiver J.J. Nelson (knee).

For the Saints, running back Mark Ingram (toe/knee), cornerback Delvin Breaux (shoulder), linebacker Stephone Anthony (knee) and running back Daniel Lasco (hamstring/knee) didn’t practice. Quarterback Drew Brees (not injury-related), safety Shilioh Keo (hamstring), fullback John Kuhn (groin), linebacker Craig Robertson (shoulder), wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot) and center Max Unger (foot) were all limited.

SCOOBY WRIGHT (FINALLY) ARRIVES

Linebacker Scooby Wright is a state favorite, having played at the University of Arizona. He was also a favorite of Arians, who was on the phone with Wright at the tail end of the 2016 draft telling Wright the Cardinals wanted to sign him as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Wright loved the idea and told Arians he was ready to be a Cardinal – and then he got a call from the Cleveland Browns, who made him a seventh-round pick. Wright spent most the season on the Browns’ practice squad, until injuries led the Cardinals to sign him to the active roster this week.

“It’s just about coming in, going day-by-day, trying to earn my spot,” Wright said.

Arians said the Cardinals will try and find a role on special teams for Wright “as fast as I can.” Wright admitted he didn’t play special teams in college so when he first arrived in Cleveland, he had to learn it. Now, he said, he can do whatever is asked.

“He loves to play the game, and I love guys who love to play the game,” Arians said.

The cascade of injuries will make for another significant shuffle on the Cards’ special teams units again. In addition to the main units, the Cards will also have a new punter in Matt Wile.

“We’ve got a couple of new bodies again,” Arians said. “We’ll see if the new bodies do better than the bodies they replaced.”

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