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Cardinals Players Adapting To Coronavirus Restrictions

Stay-at-home guidelines changing the normal routine

LB Jordan Hicks is currently staying with his in-laws in Austin, Texas.
LB Jordan Hicks is currently staying with his in-laws in Austin, Texas.

The Cardinals would normally be reporting back to work later this month, but COVID-19 has made this an irregular spring.

The players are spread out around the country, locked down in their homes like everybody else for the foreseeable future, as standard NFL offseason work seems in peril.

The coronavirus restrictions have forced them to adapt, both from a physical and mental health standpoint. Here is a look at how some Cardinals are dealing with their new normal.

It's a full house in Austin, Texas, as the veteran linebacker and his family are hunkered down with his mother- and father-in-law as they wait to move into a new home.

"I've been playing the role of dad," Hicks said. "Just enjoying my time with my kids and taking an hour, hour-and-a-half throughout the day to work out, and then back at it with the kids. Put them down by 6:30 and then the wife and I will watch some Netflix shows, binge some shows. It's probably your typical American situation and schedule right now."

Unlike a typical citizen, one of Hicks' job descriptions is to stay in tip-top shape. He's found a work-around to get in the needed activity.

"Luckily my father-in-law has some workout stuff, so we actually rearranged the garage and made a little makeshift gym," Hicks said. "We've got a little rack and enough bands and stuff to get the job done. But it's definitely been a challenge. We've had to be creative. I keep saying 'We' because I'm working my wife out, too. We're making this happen together. Trying to stay active during this time.

"It's definitely not like being in the building, where you get the expertise of the guys, (strength and conditioning coach) Buddy (Morris) and the guys that are training us. But we get to reach out to them, use the limited resources we have and be creative. It will definitely be an offseason we all remember, in a lot of different ways."

The defensive tackle found a new team in free agency, but that wasn't the only significant change in his life in March. Phillips and his fiancé had a daughter 12 days ago in Wichita, Kansas, and the presence of coronavirus made the process tricky.

"They checked your temperature and made sure you didn't have any symptoms before you came in (to the hospital)," Phillips said. "It could only be my fiancé (and) either my mom or her mom in the room, but just one at a time. So it was a little different."

Naturally, family and friends want to see the baby, but precautions must be taken.

"We have to do it through the window," Phillips said. "So they come up to the house and we put Maya up to the window. That's just kind of the weirdest thing. Even at the hospital, I had to hold Maya to the window for everybody to see."

The Cardinals quarterback enjoys traveling each offseason, and he stays in shape by going on runs. It's led to some cool moments in the past, like traversing Jamaica by foot or getting a group of kids to join him.

Hundley is home in Arizona now, so the sights aren't as exotic, but he's sticking to the open road.

"I grew up running down off Chandler Boulevard with my pops for two or three miles every day," Hundley said. "Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday during high school. I transitioned that into college, and when I got into the NFL and traveling. I just try to keep that going. I don't necessarily like treadmills, so I just like to go running on the streets."

The veteran guard is one of the most extroverted players on the team, so being cooped up isn't easy.

"I'm going a little crazy," Pugh said.

He is passing the time in a variety of ways. Pugh learned how to do the Rubik's Cube, has improved his cooking, and enjoys playing online trivia through videoconferencing.

Pugh's niece recently introduced the entire family to the dance app TikTok.

"I'm not going to put the video out there – that's staying in our family – but we all did a dance," Pugh said. "My mom did it, my stepdad did it. My brother did one. One of the girls that did the dance was wearing a tube top, so my brother cut his shirt in half. It's been fun."

To stay in shape, Pugh has been jogging around the neighborhood, and these days, he has an untraditional partner during positional drills.

"I'm doing some pass-sets on my girlfriend as she's cooking dinner, when I'm helping her cut something up," Pugh said. "We're trying to make the best of it."

Images of people giving blood at State Farm Stadium on Tuesday morning.

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