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Breaking Down The First 53-Man Roster, And Final Cuts Aftermath

First, the normal caveats: The Cardinals don't have their final 53-man roster. It's going to change. That's a known -- they aren't going to play without a long snapper. Aaron Brewer will be back quickly. I think Stephen Anderson will be too. Will there be another cornerback to come along besides Trayvon Mullen? (I'm going to say no, unless someone is available on waivers, which is unlikely given how deep on the claim list the Cardinals are right now.)

Nevertheless, here are my takeaways for the moment.

-- Not only will Brewer come back, but I think they have to have Anderson too. I think Maxx Williams is still working his way back in and you'll want a fourth tight end to hedge your bets. I could see safety Charles Washington, who hurt his chest against the Ravens, and wide receiver Antoine Wesley, who is still dealing with that camp groin injury, as potential short-term IR guys.

-- The Cardinals have six inside linebackers. That's a lot. I'm a little surprised Ben Niemann made it, but this isn't so much about Zaven Collins and his readiness. I think it's more because one of those ILBs has spent a lot of time with safeties, and Isaiah Simmons as "starbacker" seems to me the ultimate piece to help in the secondary too. Especially when the Cardinals -- if Washington is out for a while -- only will have three safeties: Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Deionte Thompson.

-- Simmons, by the way, said he was going to wear the green dot and be the defensive playcaller.

-- Trace McSorley will end up on the practice squad. They need that third QB.

-- I am surprised Devon Kennard was released, but only because of the experience he brought. He wasn't going to be used in pass rush situations and those kind of outside linebackers have had diminishing roles in this league. Cameron Thomas I could see getting the snaps to set the edge on those plays. Victor Dimukeje's progress has been important too.

-- Greg Dortch, a great story. Andy Isabella, not sure his story is over. Will be fascinating to see how it plays out.

-- Five running backs can't all be used. I could see a scenario where Keaontay Ingram is "redshirted" as inactive all season, like Eno Benjamin in 2020 or D.J. Humphries in 2015. But if there are injuries, I think Ingram could easily be used.

-- I think, assuming health -- and Kliff Kingsbury still isn't committing to Justin Pugh or Rodney Hudson being ready Week 1 -- the Cardinals have a pretty decent and deep offensive line group.

RB Keaontay Ingram
RB Keaontay Ingram

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