Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters has plantar fasciitis but avoided another Achilles injury.
Corey Peters hated watching from the sideline as the Cardinals embarked on their thrilling 2015 season, and he felt some dreaded déjà vu on a walk to the training room Tuesday.
The Cardinals' nose tackle missed all of last season with a torn Achilles suffered in training camp, and everyone held their breath again as he limped off the practice field after injuring the same foot during a pass-rushing drill. But it was good news for Peters on Thursday, when it was learned he has plantar fasciitis and not another serious injury.
"I freaked out for a second, that being the same leg as the Achilles, but it really has nothing to do with that," said Peters, who expects to miss between two days and two weeks. "It's just something minor. We'll work through it and hopefully get back pretty soon."
Peters is in the second season of a three-year, $9.15 million contract and hopes to be an important piece on the defensive line. The Cardinals like his ability to both stop the run and attack the quarterback.
Peters felt good about his performance thus far in camp and is anxious to get back on the field.
"Physically, (I was) back to 100 percent, just a little bit of rust still," Peters said. "I'd like to get back out there in the meat of camp and really get some of those good run-stopping reps, that type of thing. I think we'll have time to do that."
TIME FOR BARKLEY, COKER TO SHINE
Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton have each had a veteran's day off recently, which has given Matt Barkley and Jake Coker more work. They are competing for the third quarterback spot – if the Cardinals keep three – and the extra practice is critical.
"That's their day," coach Bruce Arians said. "Those are important reps, whenever Drew and Carson have their off day, for them to get twice the number of reps. And what do you do with them? I thought both kids, I was very pleased with both of them. Especially Matt. I thought he had some really good reads. Showed me that he has made some progress in that area. Still missed a couple of hot (reads on blitzes) but he threw the ball well."
COACH OF THE YEAR AGAIN?
Arians has been pegged as one of the favorites to win NFL Coach of the Year in 2016. He captured the honor in 2012 by compiling a 9-3 record and leading the Colts to the playoffs as interim coach while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia.
Arians won it again with the Cardinals in 2014 when they went 11-5 despite using backup quarterbacks for all but six games. Arians was asked what a third Coach of the Year honor would mean to him.
"Not half as much as a Super Bowl," Arians said. "It's an honor, obviously, especially when it comes from people you respect. But it's not something you go out looking for. It's because your team had success. Like we always say, when the team has success, there's enough accolades for everybody."
GOOD NEWS FOR ALANI FUA
Like Peters, inside linebacker Alani Fua (knee) breathed a sigh of relief when his injury results came back. The training staff feared a torn meniscus, but Fua said there is only loose cartilage in his knee that will sideline him four or five days.
Fua made the team as an undrafted free agent out of BYU a year ago and has a good chance of doing so again. He's relieved because a serious ailment could have jeopardized his shot.
"Any time you get injured, being undrafted, it's kind of scary," Fua said.
Guard Evan Mathis (leg) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) returned to practice Thursday. Wide receiver John Brown (head) remains out as he continues through the concussion protocol, while cornerback Mike Jenkins (hand) and wideout J.J. Nelson (groin) also sat. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had a veteran's day off.
Arians said safety Tyrann Mathieu (knee) and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle) are about two weeks away from practicing, while defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (ankle), cornerback Elie Bouka (hamstring) and cornerback Justin Bethel (foot) could be back sooner than that. As usual, the recovery time is fluid.
"That's the thing with trainers," Arians said. "We got here eight days ago and it was three weeks. It's still three weeks to them. One of them went by. I'm saying two now."
CARDINALS SIGN VETERAN CORNERBACK
Cornerback Alan Ball worked out for the team Thursday afternoon and was signed to a contract. He is a nine-year veteran who has played for the Cowboys, Texans, Jaguars and Bears. The Cardinals released safety Tyrequek Zimmerman in a corresponding move.
Images from Tuesday's training camp practice