Elijhaa Penny has done this before. He was cut as a rookie, only to be back on the practice squad. He made the team last year. This year, he made the move to fullback, saw the Cardinals sign a starter at that position in Derrick Coleman, and still embraced the role. Between being able to play fullback and running back (which Penny did a little Thursday night) and play special teams, he's got a good shot to stick on the 53-man roster. It's not guaranteed, but he's hardened to this time of year by now. There are no nerves. "I'm going sleep like a baby," he said with a smile. "I'm tired."
How this roster plays out is TBD. There are players out there who will be Cardinals who aren't Cardinals yet, players on other teams that will be grabbed up over the weekend. There were guys who made moves Thursday against the Broncos. But nothing is certain.
-- There was no Josh Rosen, and ultimately, Steve Wilks decided it was too much of a risk to put him out there. Wilks said he'd worry about Rosen's reps in the regular season.
-- Oh my goodness, Zeke Turner. The undrafted rookie from Washington -- who looks like another Deone Bucannon-in-training, as a big college safety (from the Pacific Northwest even!) who will eventually morph into a linebacker -- was everywhere Thursday. He had played his way into possibly making the team anyway, but his game against the Broncos seemed to lock it up. Ten tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and even a special teams tackle.
-- That's two games in a row the Cardinals played almost exclusively nickel defense. With Turner at linebacker but still listed as a safety, you could make the case they played six defensive backs much of the night against the Broncos.
-- He's not the only undrafted free agent, since wide receiver Trent Sherfield had a couple of catches and got more praise from Wilks and seems destined to be on the team too.
-- The rest of the receiving corps? Well, Greg Little did have a touchdown catch as his lone reception, Brice Butler had one catch and both seem teetering on the bubble. J.J. Nelson played but never was targeted. The passing game bumped along again -- 78 net yards, and 111 yards combined from Mike Glennon and Charles Kanoff -- and while there were some drops it's hard to know what the receivers really have.
-- Glennon, who was 8-of-10 for 69 yards and the Little TD, actually looked pretty good. And he seemed to wrap up any question of who the third QB should be.
-- The Cardinals officially didn't play 35 of the 90 players on the roster. No one at the top of the depth chart -- other than Butler, punter Andy Lee or long snapper Aaron Brewer -- appeared in the game. As for Butler, anyone other than Fitzgerald on the depth chart was fluid anyway.
-- Brandon Williams played a lot at cornerback but it'll be special teams that keeps him on the roster, if he stays on the roster.
-- I'm not sure my 53-man guess would be much different at this point. Dennis Gardeck had some struggles at linebacker, so they might go in a different direction there. And we will see on Williams.
-- Here's the timeline. Wilks will have a press conference tomorrow, but no cuts will be revealed. Cuts have to be in by 1 p.m. Arizona time Saturday, but judging by the last couple of years, it might be later afternoon before the cuts are actually announced. (Yes, this is meant to cut off all the questions that will inevitably be tweeted to me about why the Cards haven't yet announced cuts.) Guys will be picked up off waivers Sunday. Monday there is a practice. Lots will happen in that short time period.
But the preseason is over. Time for real football.