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After Preseason Finale, Cardinals Still Have Quarterback Question

Team finishes with 18-17 victory over Vikings on road

Quarterback David Blough (17) congratulates wideout Davion Davis after Davis caught a touchdown pass during the Cardinals' preseason win over the Vikings Saturday.
Quarterback David Blough (17) congratulates wideout Davion Davis after Davis caught a touchdown pass during the Cardinals' preseason win over the Vikings Saturday.

MINNEAPOLIS – Five of the six Cardinals quarterbacks on the roster were at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Only two of them – rookie Clayton Tune and David Blough – were in uniform, while Joshua Dobbs will be waiting in Arizona for when they return.

The Cardinals wrapped up the week in Minnesota and the preseason overall with an 18-17 win over the Vikings, and for now, there is still not clarity at quarterback with the regular season two weeks away.

"We like Josh, and we just added another piece," coach Jonathan Gannon said. "We will continue to evaluate as we move forward and go from there."

Starting quarterback Colt McCoy was held out of the game, as were all the starters. But in the case of the quarterback, it's hard to know for sure what role McCoy will have, since Gannon has declined to name his starter and did again Saturday when asked if McCoy will start.

"We'll see," Gannon said. "No starters named."

Tune completed 9-of-12 passes for 85 yards, losing a fumble when he was sacked early in the game that led to a Minnesota touchdown.  Gannon said he liked how Tune responded to the play, which was to hit Greg Dortch on a 26-yard game on the next snap he took.

"It went well," Tune said. "I put that (sack) on me. That's completely my fault."

Tune acknowledged he doesn't know what will happen at quarterback.

"It's as vague to me (as everyone)," Tune said. "My job is to show up every day and get better and execute and operate the offense."

Blough, fighting for a roster spot, threw his second TD pass of the preseason – the most for the Cardinals – by correcting reading an all-out blitz and hurling up a jump-ball 26-yard score to Davion Davis. Blough also scored on a five-yard TD run. Blough finished 11-for-22 for 93 yards.

Figuring out a spot for Dobbs will take some work, with few extra reps available at practice now that the regular season looms.

"He's played a lot of football and he's been in a system similar to ours," Gannon said.

Holding out the main players on Saturday included obvious choices like running back James Conner, wide receiver Hollywood Brown and safety Budda Baker, but also rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson and rookie cornerback Kei'Trel Clark – indicating their importance to the team already.

For those that did play, the game was a final chance to show their worth to the Cardinals before the roster must be trimmed.

Linebacker Zach McCloud, just signed recently, had three sacks for the Cardinals in what was probably the biggest late push to try and stick around.

"It's a big turnaround from the way things have been going," McCloud said. "Last year around this time, I was let go. I've been waiting for the next opportunity."

Linebacker Cam Thomas, defensive lineman Eric Banks and defensive lineman Dante Stills each added a sack. Running back Keaontay Ingram averaged five yards a carry as he tried to nail down the No. 2 running back role, although Corey Clement averaged 5.6 yards per carry with a team-best 79 yards rushing.

The Cardinals lost a pair of offensive linemen who were expected to be second-string: center Jon Gaines II left with a right knee injury, and tackle/guard Dennis Daley went out with a left ankle injury. Both were rolled up on from behind during a play.

Teams must be down to their 53-man roster on Tuesday, and the team won't return to the practice field until Wednesday.

"We'll go through all the tape of camp, and we've got to start making decisions here," Gannon said.