<br> <span style="font-size: xx-small;">Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer (68) is headed to injured reserve after fracturing his ankle Sunday against Tennessee.</span><br> <br> <br>
Bruce Arians was worried about the elbow of left tackle Jared Veldheer after Sunday’s win, seeing that Veldheer missed some practice because of the injury earlier in the week.
Veldheer told the coach the arm was good, but that he might’ve sprained an ankle. Arians didn’t think much of it until Monday morning, when it turned out Veldheer fractured the ankle and now must go on injured reserve to end his season.
Starting right guard Earl Watford also suffered a high ankle sprain as well and will miss time, meaning the offensive line will be shuffled again and the Cards are left – again – reeling with a significant
“You just have to laugh and go on,” Arians said. “What’s next. Get a game plan these guys can succeed at, and go win a game.”
Evan Boehm, the starter at right guard until he was replaced by Watford, will move back into that role. Veldheer will be replaced by rookie fifth-round pick Will Holden, although Arians said roster moves are coming. Later Monday, the team promoted tackle Vinston Painter from the practice squad, and to make room on the roster released wide receiver Carlton Agudosi.
The Cardinals will now have both starting tackles – Veldheer and D.J. Humphries – and starting left guard Mike Iupati on injured reserve. It’ll be the second straight year Veldheer’s season will end on IR after he tore his triceps muscle last season.
The Cards had just started running the ball a little bit better, cracking 100 yards for three straight games after gaining just 82 yards total the two games before that. The Cards ran on the Jaguars’ No. 1 overall defense for 108 yards, had 118 against the Rams and then dented the Titans’ No. 3 run
defense for 136 yards rushing Sunday.
The Cardinals won two of those three games.
“It’s always great when we can run the ball,” Veldheer said Sunday night. “We have a room of good running backs. If we can give them a little bit of daylight, they can do some good stuff.”
Only center A.Q Shipley has started every game on the offensive line. Assuming Holden plays left tackle – a spot he has yet to play in an NFL game – Sunday will mark the seventh different starting combination for offensive line coach Harold Goodwin.
“Goody has done a hell of a job,” Arians said. “It’s not easy to go through that many players and still be able to run the ball as effectively as we have the last couple of weeks.”
From left tackle to right, the Cardinals will have Holden, Alex Boone, Shipley, Boehm and John Wetzel.
If Holden plays left tackle, he will be the fourth player to play there this season, after Humphries, Wetzel and Veldheer.
Arians did have optimism that defensive lineman Corey Peters (ankle) will return this week, while fellow defensive lineman Josh Mauro (ankle) – who was active Sunday but did not play – will be better. Wide receiver John Brown (toe) also could return this week.
There was no new update on running back Adrian Peterson (neck), and Arians said a bad hamstring pull will sideline linebacker Gabe Martin for now.
DRESCHER RELEASED WITH BREWER HEALTHY
With long snapper Aaron Brewer (wrist) set to come off of injured reserve this week, the Cardinals released long snapper Justin Drescher Monday. Brewer returned to practice last week and will be the first player to return from IR this season for the Cards.