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Cardinals Wrap Up Training Camp At State Farm Stadium

Back end of quarterback depth chart continues to battle

Safety Jalen Thompson makes an interception in a battle with wide receiver Greg Dortch during the Cardinals' penultimate practice of training camp.
Safety Jalen Thompson makes an interception in a battle with wide receiver Greg Dortch during the Cardinals' penultimate practice of training camp.

Linebacker Devon Kennard sported a broad smile during Friday's press conference, and understandably so.

The veteran had just concluded the ninth training camp of his career, a simple walkthrough, something the players learned after Thursday's full-padded affair.

"It was just the accumulation of a five-day stretch the last couple weeks and then this week," Kennard said. "We were in the locker room like 'Dang, and we have another tomorrow?' So guys were excited when Kliff told us that."

It was a memorable camp in many ways, some the Cardinals would rather not remember. But the team agreed to contract extensions with quarterback Kyler Murray and left tackle D.J. Humphries, keeping two vital offensive pieces in the desert for the foreseeable future.

"There was a lot of stuff going on with us this offseason," Humphries said. "But as crazy as this sounds, it hasn't been a distraction for us. Everyone still came to practice super focused and locked in."

Part of what went on was Murray's Covid bout and sore wrist, along with backup quarterback Colt McCoy's own arm issues. It opened the door for a ton of reps for the other two QBs on the roster: Trace McSorley and Jarrett Guarantano.

McSorley enters his second year with the team after joining midway through 2021 from the Ravens' practice squad. Guarantano signed after going undrafted in the 2022 draft.

The quarterbacks did well last Friday against the Bengals and have another chance to impress Sunday against the Ravens. Kliff Kingsbury praised both during training camp and said he expects to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. McSorley will start against the Ravens Sunday and has the edge in getting a roster spot.

"Both guys have operated well," Kingsbury said. "I think it's been fortunate for both to get as many reps as they've been starting camp at the third and fourth spots. They've handled it well. I'm excited to continue watching them play."

McSorley and Guarantano don't look at practice and preseason as ways to outduel one another. That's not important because it's not about their competition, it's about helping the team improve.

"We're both gathering information from Kyler and Colt, talking and trying to help each other," McSorley said. "Our goal is to win games in the regular season, and as we do that, we're growing and competing with each other along the way."

"I watched the Derek Jeter documentary and he said, 'competition eliminates complacency,' " Guarantano added. "When you have a (quarterback room) like ours, you feel the competition and want to get better every day."

Time is running out, however. Camp is over, and the practice days dwindle. There is one week -- on the road, in Tennessee -- of practice before the final cuts come.

In that regard, Kennard can't quite feel totally finished.

"I still feel like it's going to be a camp atmosphere," Kennard said.