Josh Rosen played in his first road game on Sunday, but a three-quarters-full, laissez-faire San Francisco crowd wasn’t exactly a hostile environment.
The Cardinals rookie quarterback will get his first true NFL road test this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. Rosen, who is no shrinking violet, looks forward to being the target of the fans’ animus.
“I love people yelling and screaming at you,” Rosen said.
In college, Rosen said his toughest road setting came as a sophomore against Texas A&M. Leading up to the game, Rosen said in an interview that all crowd noise sounds similar once attendance surpasses 50,000. That upset the Aggies’ faithful, and the 100,000-plus in attendance let him know about it during the contest.
“We get into the game, and the entire crowd collectively is chanting, ‘50,000,’” Rosen said. “We walked out in our final drive and I was actually getting them going, because I like that kind of stuff. It was fun.”
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis has a capacity of only 66,655, but the domed stadium gets loud. The goal will be to quiet the crowd, which can only be done with on-field success.
“The quick silence of a tough third down in the red zone, those are pretty fun,” Rosen said.
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
The Cardinals’ defense was on the field for 98 snaps against the 49ers, and when asked if he had felt the physical toll the past few days, safety Antoine Bethea gave the reporter an inexplicable look.
“Oh, yeah,” Bethea said. “If you play 50 snaps versus 100 snaps? That’s double the snaps. You’ll definitely feel different. There’s a little bit of wear and tear. You’ve got to get in the cold tub, hot tub, do whatever you’ve got to do to get back right. It’s a six-day process.”
The Cardinals’ defense has been on the field for 365 plays this season, according to Pro Football Reference. That is second in the NFL behind only the Cleveland Browns, who have played in three overtime games.
It doesn’t get easier, as the Cardinals play the Vikings on Sunday and then have a “Thursday Night Football” clash against the Broncos four days later. Coach Steve Wilks ended practice about 20 minutes early on Wednesday to help recovery.
“As a head coach you’ve got to have some foresight,” Wilks said.
DAVID JOHNSON SHOOTS DOWN TRADE RUMORS
David Johnson shook his head on Wednesday when asked about trade speculation. A radio personality in Philadelphia tweeted that the Cardinals’ All-Pro running back could be an Eagles trade target, but Johnson quickly shut down the idea.
“False news,” Johnson said. “I didn’t even pay attention to that. I know the Cardinals organization wants me here and I definitely want to be here. It didn’t even cross my mind.”
Johnson signed a three-year extension before the season.
THREE STARTING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN DON’T PRACTICE
Right tackle Andre Smith (hamstring), left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and left guard Mike Iupati (shoulder) didn’t practice on Wednesday but Wilks isn’t worried about their availability.
“I think they’re going to be fine,” Wilks said. “Other guys stepped in today and got quality reps, but those guys will be back tomorrow.”
Tight end Jermaine Gresham (Achilles), defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (foot), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring/back) and safety Tre Boston (shoulder) also didn’t practice.
Defensive end Markus Golden (knee) was limited after missing last week’s game, as were linebacker Josh Bynes (wrist), safety Budda Baker (shoulder), defensive tackle Corey Peters (elbow), wide receiver Trent Sherfield (illness) and cornerback Jamar Taylor (hamstring).
For the Vikings, defensive end Tashawn Bower (ankle), safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) and tackle Riley Reiff (foot) missed practice, as did Arizona native Everson Griffen, who continues to tend to his mental health. Running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring) was limited.
Images of the Cardinals' running back at Luke Air Force Base on Tuesday