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Greg Dortch, Andy Isabella Make Another Impression In Cardinals' Preseason Finale

Team leaves week in Tennessee with 26-23 loss to Titans

Wide receiver Greg Dortch tells the crowd to quiet down after he scored his touchdown against the Titans.
Wide receiver Greg Dortch tells the crowd to quiet down after he scored his touchdown against the Titans.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The numbers were small for the Cardinals, smaller than a game roster in the regular season.

They had only 43 players dressed for Saturday night's preseason finale at Nissan Stadium against the Tennessee Titans (and one of those, Victor Dimukeje, didn't take a snap) out of 81 possible. That gives a sense of what coach Kliff Kingsbury and the team wanted to get out of their final dress rehearsal of 2022.

Keeping the main players healthy at all costs was one. Those that did play fell into four buckets: Roster locks who needed at least some work; guys battling for the roster spot or two that might not yet be decided; guys fighting for a practice squad spot; and the guys who, well, aren't going to be Cardinals much longer.

Wide receiver Greg Dortch has felt for a while he was in bucket one, but maybe it's bucket two.

Wide receiver Andy Isabella? The same debate could be had.

Either way, both again played well in the 26-23 loss and did in the preseason what players are supposed to do: prove to everyone they should have a job in the league, whether it's with the Cardinals or elsewhere.

"I'm not nervous at all," Isabella said. "If it's here, I'll put my best foot forward each day. I don't want to have happen what happened last year, where I am sitting around the whole time. I played well, I put good tape out there. I'm excited for the season."

It feels like both will be Cardinals when the roster is trimmed by Tuesday night.

"Everything is out of my control right now," Dortch said. "I feel like I gave it my all this entire preseason. I feel good what I put on tape, and everything will work out the way it's supposed to work out."

Dortch had six catches (on 12 targets) for 64 yards and a touchdown. Isabella had five catches for 115 yards – tackled inside the 5 twice on long catch-and-runs, setting up scores – and drew a long pass interference call that was wiped out because of an offsetting penalty.

"Andy Isabella is a tough soldier, man," Dortch said. "Me and him worked out this whole offseason together, we came out together out of college. I have so much respect for that guy. It's been a battle with this whole receivers room."

With DeAndre Hopkins suspended the first six games, it would make sense to keep both players, especially with Antoine Wesley still a question with his groin injury.

But there is a lot that will go into crafting the final 53-man roster, and for receivers at the back of the depth chart, pass catching is only one factor.

"I thought they attacked this camp," Kingsbury said of the two receivers. "Both of them, every day, full speed, and you see the results. I can't say enough good things about what they did this camp."

On the other side of the ball, there are still questions about cornerback depth and sustained pass rush. Cameron Thomas had two sacks and nearly had a third, although the third-round linebacker is clearly in bucket one.

"Obviously there are going to be some business decisions made," Thomas said of the impending cuts. "But it's something I haven't thought much of."

The Cardinals flew home after the game, the discussions about the final roster already to take place at 30,000 feet.

"Over the next 24 to 48 hours, we'll have a bunch of discussions," Kingsbury said. "We have some deep rooms and we'll have to make some tough decisions. We'll see how it all plays out."

Cardinals players arrive to Nissan Stadium prior to the team's Week 3 preseason matchup with the Titans presented by Invisalign