The Cardinals have not yet activated center Rodney Hudson from injured reserve, but they took a small but necessary step Tuesday to do so.
The Cards opened Hudson's return-to-practice window, meaning he's eligible to work with the team starting Wednesday as he comes back from ribs and shoulder injuries. Who Hudson might be snapping to this week remains up in the air; starting quarterback Kyler Murray is battling an ankle injury and coach Kliff Kingsbury continues to call Murray's status day-to-day.
Hudson has a 21-day timeframe to be activated from IR, although Kingsbury had expressed optimism he would be able to play Sunday in San Francisco.
"Having Rodney back, we'd have another old head on the offensive line," right tackle Kelvin Beachum said with a smile. "Having him back will be fun. That (ribs) injury is not something to play with."
Beachum missed time earlier this season with his own ribs injury, and said just getting down into his stance was something he struggled with coming back from the injury. "I'm giving him insight of what I felt, I'm asking what he felt," Beachum added. "We've been leaning on each other a lot."
In addition to getting Hudson back on the practice field, the Cardinals also brought in two new practice squad players: outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead and defensive lineman Matt Dickerson. Dickerson has appeared in 18 NFL games, all with Tennessee, while Whitehead has played 139 games with the Lions, Raiders and Panthers.
To make room, the Cardinals released TE Ross Travis and OL Koda Martin from the practice squad.
They were the only transactions the Cardinals had on trade deadline day, which came at 1 p.m. Arizona time. The Cardinals made their big trade two weeks ago when they dealt for tight end Zach Ertz.
Hudson and Murray are only two of the injured Cardinals in the spotlight this week. Hudson's backup Max Garcia (Achilles), wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence (calf) are among the players being monitored going into the game against the 49ers.