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Jimmy Graham A Tough Cover For Cardinals

Notes: Talented tight end must be contained; Peterson's baby plan; Sendlein practices

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Tight end Jimmy Graham has moved from the Saints to the Seahawks but is still a tough player to defend.


The Seahawks' offense had been mostly a two-man show the past couple years, but now there's a third star.

While quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch are still the lead characters when Seattle has the ball, the team lacked a receiving threat after 2014's midseason trade of Percy Harvin. The front office rectified that in March when it sent Pro Bowl center Max Unger to the Saints for star tight end Jimmy Graham.

Graham started the season slowly but now leads the team with 38 catches and 450 yards. In his past three contests, Graham has averaged 5.7 receptions and 82 yards per contest. While the Seahawks aren't dominant through the air, he is the player who figures to be the aerial focal point in Sunday's matchup.

"They already had Marshawn and Russell, and now they got that fool over there," linebacker Kevin Minter said. "You pick your poison with this team."

Graham's height is a decided mismatch. He's listed at 6-foot-7, while none of the Cardinals expected to regularly cover him are taller than 6-foot-1.

"There really isn't much you can do with that, unless you put a D-end out there to cover him," Minter said. "I really don't know what to tell you. We try to scheme against it, but it's really our guys just manning up and making a play on it. And pray."

The Cardinals struggled against tight ends in coach Bruce Arians' first two years at the helm but have been much improved this season. Browns breakout star Gary Barnidge caught a touchdown pass in the Cardinals' most recent game, but was held to 53 receiving yards.

Seahawks tight end Luke Willson chewed up the Cardinals in Seattle's 35-6 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium last year, catching three passes for 139 yards and two scores. Graham has a much stronger resume than Willson, but the Cardinals believe they have the personnel to slow him down.

"We feel like we've been handling tight ends pretty well the first half of the season," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "I'm excited for the challenge."

PETERSON'S BABY PLAN

Cornerback

Patrick Peterson's wife is due to have their first child on Nov. 27. His hope is for their daughter to be born next week, after the Cardinals return from Seattle and before the Nov. 22 home game against the Bengals.

Of course, that's not always in the parents' control.

"My wife keeps asking me what I'm going to do if the baby comes the day before the game or if I have to leave," Peterson said. "I told her, 'I'm definitely playing in the football game. I have the rest of my life to spend with her.' If it is maybe a couple days before the game, I'll think about it."

Peterson said his mother-in-law will be moving in with them for the duration of the football season.

SENDLEIN RETURNS TO PRACTICE

Center Lyle Sendlein (shoulder) practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday after sitting Tuesday. Arians is unsure of Sendlein's availability for the Seahawks game, and he is "more than comfortable" with backup A.Q. Shipley seeing the field if needed.

Sendlein said "I feel better than yesterday, and I'm just trying to get better each day." The veteran's experience in the hostile environment of CenturyLink Field won't factor into his availability.

"I just want to play because I love football," Sendlein said. "I don't care where it is. It could be in the parking lot next door."

Wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), cornerback Jerraud Powers (hamstring) and wide receiver John Brown (hamstring) were also limited.

Lynch had the day off for the Seahawks, while Willson (toe) was limited. Wide receiver Ricardo Lockette (neck) is out for the season.

BACKUP CORNERBACK SWITCH

Reserve cornerback Cariel Brooks (ankle) was waive-injured on Wednesday and Robert Nelson, Jr. was elevated from the practice squad to take his place on the active roster. Brooks was used strictly on special teams and Nelson isn't expected to be needed on defense unless there are injuries.

Cornerback Kevin White, an undrafted free agent from TCU, was added to the practice squad.

Images of the players who can be voted on by fans for the 2016 Pro Bowl



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