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Cardinals Name Their Captains For The 2021 Season

Notes: Josh Jones set at right guard; only Daniels limited at practice

Pass rushers J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones are among the Cardinals' captains this season.
Pass rushers J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones are among the Cardinals' captains this season.

Kyler Murray , as quarterback, knows that it's natural to be named a captain.

But he also understands it's earned, and there are responsibilities.

"Those guys believe in me, trust in me to go out and lead, (that's a) huge deal for me," Murray said Wednesday after the Cardinals named all their captains for 2021.

"(It's) doing what is right no matter who is watching, every day.," Murray added. "No matter if you are in front of the team, not in front of the team, doing what's right. Not cheating any days, taking any reps off. Guys look to me, people look to me, kids look to me. I take all of that to heart."

Joining Murray as offensive captains are tackle D.J. Humphries, who was also a captain last year, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and new Cardinals center Rodney Hudson.

On defense, linebackers Chandler Jones and Jordan Hicks retain their "C," while Budda Baker -- who was elevated to captain last year when Jones went down with his season-ending injury -- also remains a captain. Newcomer J.J. Watt also was named

Linebacker Dennis Gardeck represents special teams for a second straight year.

"It's been a good locker room for us," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I think we have had 15 guys in that locker room that have been captain somewhere in the NFL if not here. It's a credit to them and their leadership. I like that group."

Being a captain is about leadership by example, Baker said, echoing Murray's stance of never cheating the work. But it's also about the mental side of the game for the All-Pro safety.

"Any young guys or even any old guys have any questions on the defense, me being a captain, I feel like I should know those answers and I should be able to help them," Baker said. "And if I don't have those answers, get those answers for him."


In the end, the amount of reps Josh Jones got in training camp -- as opposed to Brian Winters or Justin Murray, who were sidelined most of camp with injuries – earned Jones the starting job at right guard.

"I thought he picked it up well," Kingsbury said of the 2020 third-round pick, who played tackle in college. "He's very athletic. He'll have his ups and downs, there's no doubt, as he's learning."

Winters is the top backup. Murray is listed as the backup right tackle. And Kyler Murray is ready for the young Jones to step into the lineup, saying he has a "lot of trust" in Jones.

"We didn't draft him for him just to sit on the sidelines," Kyler Murray said. "I hope he's out there. He's earned it."


The Cardinals couldn't be much healthier on their first injury report of the season. Only tight end Darrell Daniels, who has been dealing with a toe injury since training camp, was listed as limited Wednesday. The only other Cardinal listed was Gardeck, who was a full participant as he continues to rehab from ACL surgery.

For the Titans, wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) did not practice, while cornerback Chris Jackson and linebacker David Long were both limited with hamstring issues.


Kingsbury acknowledged he came back from the Labor Day break apprehensive that a player would come back with Covid.

Anytime you have Labor Day weekend completely off for four days, there can be some issues," Kingsbury said. "Hopefully we can be unscathed."

Results from Tuesday's once-a-week testing for those vaccinated came Wednesday. So far, so good.

"You just pray you don't get that email," Kingsbury said. "It adds an element you try not to think about but it's definitely there."

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