Friday before the Rams, and reasons for motivation

Patrick Peterson has never missed a game in his career. He’s 126-for-126 since coming into the NFL. He went home sick Thursday, was absent from the facility Friday and officially is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams. My guess is there is no way he will miss the game Sunday. No way.

The Cardinals’ season has been poor, yes, but everyone has different motivation. Peterson – who would want to be out there anyway – has a games streak on the line. Chandler Jones wants to get sacks and give money. Josh Rosen just wants to wash away the bad taste of last week. Fitz, well, we know what Sunday could be about.

It seems a lifetime ago that the Cardinals played the Rams the first time. There’s a new quarterback, four new offensive linemen, a new wide receiver. Coach Steve Wilks said there were still reasons to study that game tape, but there is likely a different mindset from both sides. At this point, the Cardinals know what 2018 turned into. So maybe you find other factors from which to draw, other than just trying to win.

-- I’ve written a lot about Fitz the last couple of days. I think this about his future: 1) I don’t think he’s made a decision; 2) I think he loves playing, still; 3) I think I still will watch his efforts Sunday through the prism of a potential last game in mind. Just like last year against the Giants.

-- Fitz needs eight catches to become only the second receiver in NFL history with 600 catches in a single stadium. Jerry Rice had 646 at Candlestick Park. There’s a reason to feed Fitz.

-- Aaron Donald is in the conversation for MVP of the NFL, and that’s fair. The Rams’ defensive lineman – he plays end more often these days -- leads the NFL with 16½ sacks. But he had none the first time the Cardinals and Rams met, way back in Week 2, overall a quiet day for Donald. The Rams still won, 34-0.

-- Rookie center Mason Cole didn’t meet up with Donald a ton that day, although the Rams’ defensive line as a whole made things difficult for then-quarterback Sam Bradford. Now, rookie Josh Rosen gets a chance to see Donald and the gang.

“You’ve got to respect the guy and what he has done in this league because he is a heck of a ballplayer,” Cole said. “But at the same time, it’s just football, you know what I mean? He’s good at it for sure, but at the end of the day, it’s just football. We stick to our technique and stick to our scheme, I think we’ll be alright.”

-- The roof will be open Sunday for the game. Not surprising, this time of year.

-- There will not be a mailbag next week because of Christmas.

-- Rosen was asked to evaluate the Cardinals’ season so far.

“I don’t know. That’s your guys’ job,” Rosen said. “You guys keep asking me questions to fill your headlines. They’re your headlines.”

-- Todd Gurley didn’t practice all week. Usually, that means a guy doesn’t play on Sunday. Rams coach Sean McVay has said he wants to make sure Gurley is ready for the playoffs. Would it be a surprise the Rams sat Gurley in favor of newcomer C.J. Anderson? No. And you have to wonder, with QB Jared Goff already struggling, what the Rams’ offense looks like in that case – and what it might mean with how this game evolves.

See you Sunday.

CB Patrick Peterson
CB Patrick Peterson

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