Josh Rosen has been to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum many times before.
He attended USC games when he was younger, watching Reggie Bush run wild. He played there twice in college as UCLA’s quarterback, both times coming up on the short end of the score. Now, the rookie QB goes home as Sam Bradford’s backup for Sunday’s game against the Rams.
“I’ve got a bunch of family and friends coming to the game and I’ll probably run into a couple people I know on the sideline,” Rosen said. “For the most part, trying to look at it as a business trip. Go and win a football game and get out of there – something I have not yet been able to accomplish in my career.”
Rosen cracked a smile. He would’ve liked to have won there when he was playing for UCLA. Barring an injury, he won’t play this Sunday, instead continuing his unfamiliar role as No. 2 on the depth chart, which he has never been until now.
Rosen acknowledged it’s a little weird, but that it doesn’t change his daily work or the effort to prepare in case he does need to play. The last thing he’d do is wish ill will on Bradford, but Rosen is familiar with the Cardinals’ 2017 season, when injuries took the team’s top two quarterbacks.
“For the sake of the Arizona cardinals, I’m always going to be ready,” he said.
As for the trip home, Rosen said it was a benefit to being drafted into the NFC West because he is so close to his home state. But that came with a caveat too.
“You pay a ton of taxes playing in San Francisco and L.A.,” he said. “You get to counter it with Seattle a little bit.”
HAASON REDDICK’S ROLE
Hasson Reddick isn’t frustrated. He swears he’s not, just trying to be a team guy and do whatever is asked of him. At this point, the Cardinals aren’t asking a ton, at least when it comes to snaps.
The linebacker and 2017 first-round pick played just 14 defensive snaps out of 79 possible last week against Washington, having fallen behind Josh Bynes on the depth chart.
“He’s in the rotation,” coach Steve Wilks said. “Is he starting? Not right now. Are there packages for him? Yes.”
Wilks said Reddick’s speed can help in coverage, which could help against Rams running back Todd Gurley this week. He also has the ability to rush off the edge, which is also something the Cards would like to do.
“At this point we’re just trying to find the right niche for him in terms of what his fit is in our defense,” defensive coordinator Al Holcomb said. “Sometimes it’s coming off the edge, sometimes it’s on the second level. … He is adapting. Every day is a learning process.”
Having moved a lot since being drafted – from inside linebacker to outside linebacker in a 3-4 to now an outside linebacker in a 4-3 and potential rush end in passing situations – Reddick hasn’t had much of a chance to settle in anywhere.
“I’m not frustrated,” Reddick said. “There are a lot of people doubting me, think I can’t do it. I went through the same thing in college. My junior year, my senior year, lights out, (I was) one of the best in the nation. I’m taking the same approach here and when I get it, it’s going to be lights out.”
SMITH, PIERRE STILL SIDELINED; REDDICK ADDED TO INJURY REPORT
Reddick appeared on the injury report for the first time with an ankle injury, apparently suffered in practice Thursday, limiting his work. Right tackle Andre Smith (elbow) and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (toe) remained as DNPs, drawing the Cardinals closer to starting backup John Wetzel on the offensive line.
But running back David Johnson (back), who was still listed as limited with a back issue, was taking part in individual drills and was seen hitting the blocking sled with plenty of power. Also still limited were safety Budda Baker (ankle), defensive end Markus Golden (knee) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (Achilles).
Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (foot) was upgraded to full work. For the Rams, linebacker Mark Barron (ankle) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (hip) did not practice.
Images of past matchups between the Cardinals and this week's opponent, the Los Angeles Rams