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Andy Isabella Gets His Chance As Christian Kirk Out Against Lions

Notes: Peterson unconcerned by "junk yardage: Drake has chance to break out

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk runs a route in a regular season game against the Washington Football team on September 20, 2020.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk won't play against Detroit after injuring his groin against Washington.

The second-year receiver won't have to wait long.

Wideout Christian Kirk will miss Sunday's game against the Lions with a groin injury, opening the door for Isabella to get more consistent playing time. He had two catches for 67 yards in last week's win against Washington but played only 14 snaps.

KeeSean Johnson is also expected to have a role after missing the first two games while on the COVID-19 restricted list.

"I think both guys will see more time – have a chance to show how they've developed and what we've seen in camp," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "Hopefully that translates to the field."

Kirk suffered the injury on the first series against Washington and was clearly hampered throughout, but played the rest of the way until the win was in hand. Kingsbury is hopeful the injury won't sideline Kirk long-term.

Big things were expected for Kirk this season, but it's been a slow start. He had one catch for zero yards against the 49ers and had a pair of receptions for 57 yards against Washington.

Center Mason Cole (hamstring) will also miss the game, while cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (neck) is questionable after being added to the injury report on Friday. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (ankle) is also listed as questionable.

For the Lions, wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) is questionable after missing the first two games of the season, as is safety C.J. Moore (calf) and tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot). Cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring) is doubtful, while tight end Hunter Bryant (hamstring) is out.

PETERSON UNBOTHERED BY MCLAURIN'S BIG DAY

The Washington offense struggled against the Cardinals, but receiver Terry McLaurin had a sterling performance with seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson shadowed him much of the day, but because a lot of the production came late in the blowout -- and because it was mostly yards after the catch -- he wasn't concerned.

"That was all loose defenses," Peterson said. "He got a lot of junk yardage on us last week. He had one where we were blitzing off the corner. He had another when he caught a little drag route and went for 30-something yards. So to me, obviously we have to defend those, but those were considered junk yards to us as a defense."

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph had a different perception, as the yards-after-catch exploits by McLaurin stuck in his craw.

"It's concerning, because it wasn't that we softened up," Joseph said. "I thought we stopped tackling. … If you catch the ball for five yards, he should go down for seven, not catching at five yards and run for 15 more."

A FAVORABLE MATCHUP FOR KENYAN DRAKE

Kenyan Drake has a 4.1 yards-per-carry average this season, which isn't bad, but he's yet to duplicate the astounding eight-game run of success he had upon arrival with the Cardinals last season.

Sunday's game against the Lions could be a golden opportunity for a breakout, as Detroit is giving up 6.5 yards per carry through two games. Green Bay's Aaron Jones had 18 carries for 168 yards, four catches for 68 yards and three total touchdowns last week against the Lions.

Drake said the team rushing numbers – 170 yards per game at 5.0 yards per tote on the strength of Kyler Murray’s exploits – are good, so he's not worried about his own production.

"My runs will pop if I stick to the script and integrity of the situated play," Drake said. "Other than that, we're winning, and that's the most important stat to me."

Images of practice from the Dignity Health Training Center, presented by Hyundai.

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