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Follow The Evidence: Cardinals Look To Improve After Preseason Opener

Gannon expects multiple players to return to practice this week from injury

Jonathan Gannon walks the sideline during the Cardinals' first preseason game on Friday night.
Jonathan Gannon walks the sideline during the Cardinals' first preseason game on Friday night.

Jonathan Gannon returned to the Dignity Health Training Center with "fire in his gut" after watching the video from Friday's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos.

"There's tangible evidence and things that we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win," Gannon said. "It's cool explaining that to the players because it's right there in front of them on tape."

As a new head coach, Gannon doesn't watch film any differently than when he was a quality control coach. The only change is the time put into film. He's now watching how the operation is executed across all three units.

Gannon still declines to give specifics when asked about if any individual players stood out, but he liked what the team did on Friday.

"Most games come down to a few plays here or there, and it's about who makes the play and who doesn't," Gannon said. "Who operates a little better than the other team can go either way most of the time, but I thought they all did a pretty good job of what we asked them for that game."

Gannon said the Cardinals came out of the game relatively healthy, and added that tight end Zach Ertz will be returning from the PUP list soon.

"We got some guys that have been a little nicked and have missed some time that you are going to see out there this week, and are getting back fully into the mix," Gannon said. "One of the goals of training camp is to keep us healthy and I think that we've done a pretty good job with that."

After having practiced for the first two weeks of training camp inside State Farm Stadium, the team will move outdoors for practice in Tempe this week.

While putting together a practice plan for the upcoming game versus the Kansas City Chiefs is the priority, Gannon will keep next week's joint practice in Minnesota in mind.

"I wanted to get them in the heat a little bit," Gannon said. "For the first time, I didn't want to be in (the heat) practicing versus Minnesota. We're going to have to practice out here for the fall, so I wanted to get acclimated a little bit and have a dry run of our schedule."

Gannon hopes that future preseasons include joint practices against two different teams, as opposed to one. He was looking to add another joint practice to this year's schedule, but most teams had already finalized their plans by the time he was hired.

During his two years in Philadelphia, the Eagles hosted two joint practices both years.

"Most of the teams that I've been on, they've been really helpful for the evaluation and learning and the development of our players," Gannon said. "I feel like it's valuable for your players, with a little less risk of injury too, because you have to keep them healthy. Those are valuable."

Game action photos from the Cardinals' matchup against the Denver Broncos during Week 1 of the 2023 NFL preseason