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Cardinals Position Overview 2021: Outside Linebacker

Chandler Jones, Dennis Gardeck on mend as Markus Golden gets full season

Chandler Jones is returning after playing in just five games last season because of injury.
Chandler Jones is returning after playing in just five games last season because of injury.

With July here and training camp scheduled to start soon, azcardinals.com will take a look at the Cardinals' individual position groups during this quiet time in the NFL and give our opinions about where the groups stand prior to camp. Today, outside linebackers.

LOCKS: Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, Dennis Gardeck, Devon Kennard

Jones wasn't here for minicamp and the fact he is on the last year of his contract matters. But in the end, Jones should be ready to rebound after missing most of last season with a biceps injury, if for no other reason than to build up his case for another long-term contract. Golden wanted to return and is anxious to team with Jones again. Gardeck was a find even in a small sample size and should be back from his ACL tear. Kennard's spot was speculated upon all offseason, but the fact he remains on the roster – and with Gardeck coming back from injury – should indicate a place for him this season.

WORK TO DO: Kylie Fitts, Victor Dimukeje, Jamell Garcia-Williams, Reggie Walker

GM Steve Keim sees some Golden-like attributes in Dimukeje, a sixth-round pick who will fight for a roster spot. Fitts was part of the rotation last season and his abilities on special teams will give him a chance to return to the roster.

UPGRADE ODDS: Low

Assuming Gardeck returns promptly, the Cardinals are likely set at the position for this season. There are going to be decisions to be made beyond 2021 (with Jones in particular) but if Jones can get back to where he was prior to his injury, the Cardinals will be fine.

Images of the Cardinals' edge rushers heading into training camp.

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