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An Opportunity For Jermaine Gresham

Notes: Veteran tight end wishes it didn't come by injury; Ravens go home; Journey to sing Anthem

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Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham should see more time on the field if Darren Fells misses game action.


In the NFL, one man's misfortune can be another's opportunity, but Jermaine Gresham doesn't want to hear about that.

The veteran tight end has been an afterthought in the Cardinals offense through six games, catching five balls for 51 yards after averaging 544 receiving yards per season in five years with the Bengals.

The two-time Pro Bowler should see an increase in playing time this week if starter Darren Fells misses the game, as expected, with a shoulder injury. But NFL position groups can be close-knit, and getting extra snaps like that doesn't make Gresham feel good.

"We've had a couple tight ends get hurt this year, with (Ifeanyi Momah), who is a great young tight end, and 'D' with his situation right now," Gresham said. "You don't get excited for things like this. In this game, those are your brothers. You want to see them play. You want to go out there and do things together."

The Cardinals also lost tight end Gerald Christian and practice squad tight end Joseph Fauria this season to knee injuries.

Coach Bruce Arians declined to put a timetable on Fells' return, although multiple reports have him missing two to three weeks. If he can't play against the Ravens on Monday night, it leaves the Cardinals with only two healthy tight ends on the roster. Gresham, who played 49 percent of the team's snaps last week, would see his role expand, while former second-round draft pick Troy Niklas would also be in line for more playing time.

Practice squad tight end Brandon Bostick could be a candidate to get elevated to the active roster later in the week if Fells can't play and Arians wants a third tight end.

If Fells sits, the plan now is "we'll use the two we got," Arians said. "We're a two tight-end offense, so the two tight ends will be out there the majority of the time."

Gresham signed with the Cardinals late in the offseason because of a back injury and Arians said his progress has been "a gradual growth."

"He came in and had to work his way into football shape with the back," Arians said. "He's in great shape now. He's learning the offense. He's always had a little bit of a rapport with Carson (Palmer from their time with the Bengals). I've seen good growth as a tight end in our offense."

Gresham is still trying to find his niche in the passing game.

"I'm comfortable with the process that it takes," Gresham said. "I'm just trying to get more confidence from the quarterback, be a bigger part of the offense. I'm just trying to be a guy that's accountable, play my role on offense and help us win games."

NO PHOENIX WORKWEEK FOR RAVENS

The Cardinals recently returned from a nine-day East Coast trip which included back-to-back games in Detroit and Pittsburgh. Baltimore stayed West in between their first two games of the season – losses in

Denver and Oakland – and originally planned to do the same this week, but coach John Harbaugh canceled the stay last month.

The Ravens played the 49ers on Sunday but returned home after the game.

"We just felt like, after we experienced it out there in Oakland, which was a good thing, another week out with the extended Monday night stay, we felt would be too long," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

Baltimore was slated to fly directly to Phoenix from San Francisco and practice at Arizona State during the week.

CARDINALS MAKE PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES

The Cardinals added cornerback Carrington Byndum and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre to their practice squad. The Cardinals had a pair of open spots because cornerback Leon McFadden was signed by the Giants to their active roster and defensive end Lawrence Okoye was released.

JOURNEY BAND MEMBERS TO PLAY NATIONAL ANTHEM

Lead singer Arnel Pineda and two other members of the band Journey will perform the National Anthem prior to Monday night's game.

The top images from the Cardinals' Week 6 loss in Pittsburgh



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