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Cardinals Still Sorting Through Cornerbacks Situation Heading To Week 1

Kingsbury hints on further additions to the roster

Cornerbacks Byron Murphy (7) and Marco Wilson (20) at practice on Monday.
Cornerbacks Byron Murphy (7) and Marco Wilson (20) at practice on Monday.

Trayvon Mullen was ready to leave the Raiders and get a chance with the Cardinals when he was told he was being traded to Arizona.

A chance to play with college teammate Isaiah Simmons was part of the equation, but not as much about the potential playing time – something the Cardinals certainly could offer these days.

"It was a big deal for me, coming to a team like this," Mullen said.

"In this line of work, anything is possible to happen. I'm just trying to control the controllables."

That's what Kliff Kingsbury is also trying to do with his cornerbacks, although it feels like the Cardinals have had little control over a position that remains vague before facing arguably the best quarterback in the NFL Sunday.

"Not ideal, that's for sure," the Cardinals coach said Monday.

A visit from Patrick Mahomes isn't easy regardless. But that was before the Cardinals lost Jeff Gladney in a car accident, before Marco Wilson left Kingsbury looking for more during training camp, before Antonio Hamilton Sr. – who won the No. 2 cornerback job over Wilson – suffered a freak accident at home when cooking and severely burned his feet.

CB Javelin Guidry
CB Javelin Guidry

Mullen was also working on the side Monday during the Cardinals' bonus Labor Day practice – the first injury report of the week won't come until Monday – with an undisclosed injury, although he said he would "most likely" be available to play against the Chiefs.

Byron Murphy Jr. and Wilson figure to start. The Cardinals claimed Javelin Guidry off waivers from the Jets, and he could jump right into the playing time mix.

"We have had some things out of our control that have happened over the last six months," Kingsbury said. "It doesn't make it easy, but we're trying to do some things to fix that over the next few weeks. We'll see how it plays out. You'd like to have a little more depth and experience going into this one, but everyone is dealing with something."

If Mullen is available – the Cardinals have rookie Christian Matthew on the roster, and Jace Whittaker could be pulled up from the practice squad – that could help. So too could freshly-paid safety Jalen Thompson, who has shown in the past he can cover in the slot.

"Not just with me but we have a bunch of guys – Isaiah, Budda (Baker), Murphy – guys that can play multiple positions," Thompson said. "It's the versatility on the defense I feel that will make us the best. We know it's next man up with the corners. We feel we are ready to go. We have everyone we need."

Cornerback will be an evolving work-in-progress. Kingsbury said Mullen's size and skillset fits the Cardinals' defensive scheme well.

Hamilton, meanwhile, will hopefully be able to return to some walkthroughs soon, although the coach acknowledged the timetable for Hamilton's return to the field is "uncharted territory." Hamilton, after going on the Non-Football Injury list, must miss at least four games.

Even after the additions of Mullen and Guidry, and with options like Thompson and Simmons, Kingsbury remained realistic about how the position looks right now.

"We've got to get more depth there soon," Kingsbury said. "We're working on that."