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Calais Campbell: Block "Could Have Been Avoided"

Defensive end rehabs knee, hopes NFL can get plays that sidelined him out of the game

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Defensive end Calais Campbell, here returning an interception in Denver, said the block that injured his knee could have been "easily avoided."

Calais Campbell finished his treatment Tuesday morning and then went through a weightlifting workout with strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris, the session hindered by the big brace the defensive end wore on his right knee to keep the leg straight.

Campbell is going to do everything he can to stay ready while he deals with the MCL strain suffered Sunday when he was cut blocked by Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. Optimism is part of that plan.

"It sucks I might have to miss a few weeks playing the game I love," Campbell said. "It was a situation that could have been avoided, but it happened and I can't do anything about it now. I just have to rehab, get back healthy and try and help my team win."

After listening for two days of the discussion about the hit, with opinions from those close like coach Bruce

Arians and linebacker Larry Foote to national pundits, Campbell has his own thoughts on the subject. His reaction sounding more of disappointment than outright anger, Campbell stressed simply that it was a play that didn't have to happen.

"I'll let everyone else debate whether it was illegal or not," Campbell told azcardinals.com. "That's not a situation where you typically cut. If it was, I would've been better prepared for it and protecting myself. The cut block is usually on a zone read or zone blocks or screens or even quick slants where they want to get your hands down. I feel like if my foot had got stuck in the ground, it could have been a lot worse. It's ended careers before. If my foot was stuck in the ground it could have put me out for a couple of years and this game is not about that kind of stuff. It's not about getting injured. You want the best players on the field so we can perform, and play the game we love at a high level for the fans who pay their hard-earned

money to watch.

"It kind of sucks I get taken off the field and have to miss a couple weeks on a play that could have been easily avoided. If I get chipped on that play, he still does a good job limiting my ability to rush the passer. We come back the next play and compete again."

Campbell called the one-to-three-week prognosis "the best-case scenario," although he said he already felt better just from Monday. Whatever happens, Campbell said he will not be 100 percent when he returns.

"I will have to deal with the rest of the season," he said. "It's gonna hurt even when I do come back."

Nevertheless, Campbell reiterated his belief in his teammates and talked about the time when he and other injured players like linebacker Matt Shaughnessy and quarterback Carson Palmer return and the Cardinals can hopefully make it to the postseason.

"At the end of the year, if we can get to where we want to be, it'll be a better story," he said.

As for Thomas and the play itself, Campbell said he is looking forward to seeing what discipline, if any, is handed down from the league. It won't make him healthy, but it could save a player in the future.

"It is what it is," Campbell said. "Can't do anything about it now. I know the NFL is reviewing it and making sure that if it was illegal, to make sure the person doesn't happen again. I hope whatever they do they make sure that play isn't tolerated anymore, because that's a play that gets people hurt and we don't want that in this league."

QB DIXON TO PRACTICE SQUAD; ZASTUDIL, SHAUGHNESSY TO IR

The Cardinals indeed signed a quarterback this week, but only a practice squad addition, bringing in veteran Dennis Dixon -- who played under Arians from 2008-11 in Pittsburgh. Dixon is available to promote if Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton is not available to play Sunday and Logan Thomas is forced into a starting role.

Punter Dave Zastudil (groin) was put on injured reserve, ending his season. Punter Drew Butler was promoted from the practice squad. The Cardinals also brought back linebacker Marcus Benard when linebacker Matt Shaughnessy (knee) was placed on IR-designated to return. Shaughnessy can't practice for six weeks and must miss eight games.



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