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Fourth Outside Linebacker Fuzziness

The Cardinals seemed to have their outside linebacker rotation pretty well cemented heading into training camp, but it’s less clear now. Markus Golden and Chandler Jones are still the starters, while Kareem Martin has secured the role as the main backup. The issue is at the fourth outside linebacker spot.

The Cardinals seemed to have their outside linebacker rotation pretty well cemented heading into training camp, but it's less clear now.

Markus Golden and Chandler Jones are still the starters, while Kareem Martin has secured the role as the main backup. The issue is at the fourth outside linebacker spot. Free agent addition Jarvis Jones was expected to round out the group, but a back injury has kept him sidelined for most of the preseason.

Coach Bruce Arians said Monday he wouldn't be able to go into the regular season with an injured Jones on the active roster. Unless Jones can get healthy and show something this week, he seems destined to either get released or placed on injured reserve.

The Cardinals will likely study the outside linebacker cuts closely this weekend, and could claim someone from another team. If they stay internal, Cap Capi seems to be the leading candidate for the fourth spot if Jones doesn't secure it.

Capi has only gone against backups in the preseason, but has registered 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a team-best eight quarterback hits through four games. He was named to Pro Football Focus' Team of the Week after a 1.5-sack performance on Saturday, and PFF has labeled Capi the Cardinals' most effective preseason pass-rusher.

Jones signed a $2.2 million contract with a $1 million signing bonus in free agency, and as a former first-round pick, the hope was that he could rejuvenate his career in special packages on defense with the Cardinals. Instead, his impact has been negligible, and Capi is trying to take advantage by turning his dark-horse chance into a spot with the team.

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