Drew Stanton hasn't played in a Thursday game in a long, long time.
"Not since high school with (the junior varsity)," the quarterback said.
Most of his Cardinals' teammates have actually played in the game, and it isn't simple. Monday usually is a day for meetings or tape viewings, but instead the players were on the field in helmets trying to get through a practice and installation of the game plan.
"Some guys are young and they just bounce back," veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "Deone (Bucannon) probably just wakes up and he's ready to run fast. Today, I could barely walk."
Coach Bruce Arians said the coaching staff did a good job setting up the game plan last week, so that the team would be ready to roll with practice Monday. It doesn't hurt the Cardinals just played the Rams – Thursday's opponent – a month ago.
"You really can't practice," Arians said. "You can have walkthroughs if it's less than 24 hours from a game. Tuesdays are normal days off, and those are going to be your two practice days. You do basically everything as a walkthrough.
"You just do what you have to do."
It doesn't help that the Cardinals also have to climb on a plane Wednesday and fly to St. Louis.
"Mentally you just have to get over it as quick as you can, try to get everything flushed out as quick as possible," Stanton said. "I think Monday, today is going to be a big day for that – try to get in, get a workout in, then get a sweat going and get any soreness out that you have."
ELLINGTON GOES TO IR AND SURGERY SET
As Arians promised, running back Andre Ellington was put on season-ending injured reserve Monday. Ellington's surgery to repair the hernia is set for Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Arians added that Ellington should not have to also get surgery on the foot tendon problem that has plagued him since training camp.
"That should heal in time," Arians said.
CROMARTIE COULD PLAY THURSDAY
During Sunday's game, the Cardinals first believed cornerback Antonio Cromartie had an Achilles injury. That turned out
not to be the case, which was good news for both the team and player. General Manager Steve Keim said Cromartie's injury affected the peroneal tendon in his ankle and both he and Arians said Cromartie is day-to-day.
Cromartie sat out the light practice Monday but Arians said there is still a chance he plays Thursday.
Guard Paul Fanaika (ankle) didn't practice. Arians said he wasn't sure who would start at guard – Jonathan Cooper was on the left side and Ted Larsen, the normal left-side starter, was on the right for Sunday's game -- whenever Fanaika returns.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) is already listed as out for the game after thumb surgery. A handful of Cardinals were listed as limited Monday: Alexander (knee), Stanton (ankle/knee), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (knee), linebacker Larry Foote (foot), linebacker Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), defensive tackle Ed Stinson (toe) and tackle Jared Veldheer (ankle).
The Rams did not practice Monday but had to submit an injury report as if they did. Tight end Cory Harkey (knee) was limited while seven players would have been DNP: Wide receiver Kenny Britt (not injury related), defensive tackle Alex Carrington (thigh), linebacker Will Herring (foot), linebacker James Laurinaitis (ankle), defensive end Chris Long (ankle), guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder) and center Scott Wells (elbow).
ADDING A SAFETY FOR DEPTH
With the uncertainty around Cromartie and Mathieu – who was sporting a giant cast around his left hand and forearm Monday following thumb surgery – the Cardinals signed veteran safety Chris Clemons. Clemons, a five-year veteran, had started every game for the Dolphins in 2012 and 2013. He signed as a free agent with Houston in the offseason but was cut before the regular season began.
Clemons is familiar with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, having played under Bowles in Miami from 2009-11. Arians said the Cardinals will see if Clemons can be prepped in time to activate him Thursday. Asked if that was feasible, Clemons smiled. "Ain't got no choice."
PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES
After elevating Kerwynn Williams and losing defensive tackle Bruce Gaston (he signed with Green Bay), the Cardinals had two openings on the practice squad which they filled Monday. The team signed guard John Fullington – an undrafted rookie who originally signed with the Packers – and wide receiver Travis Harvey – who has spent time with Tennessee, Buffalo and the Giants since coming out of college in 2013.