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Kei'Trel Clark And His Removal From The Starting Lineup

Cardinals will need rookie if Thompson is sidelined

One of the early stories of the season was how sixth-round rookie Kei'Trel Clark had earned a starting cornerback spot. One of the stories from Sunday's loss to the Bengals was that Clark had apparently lost that spot.

Clark was replaced in the lineup by veteran Antonio Hamilton, a move Clark said he had talked about with his coaches earlier in the week.

"It was something I expected," Clark said. "I accepted it, played my role, and when my number was called, I was ready to go."

It turned out Clark had to play a lot even when it looked at first that he might play very little if at all. Hamilton hurt his ankle early in the game, putting Clark on the field. Hamilton also left for a bit again later with a concussion check. And safety Jalen Thompson left the game with a hamstring injury, basically meaning Clark had to play the balance of the game.

Hamilton had said after Sunday's game he did not know if his move to starter would continue. If Thompson can't play -- and he missed Wednesday's practice with his hamstring injury -- it will likely be moot. Hamilton would probably take Thompson's spot at nickel, with Clark moving back to his role on the outside and opposite Marco Wilson.

"It's all God at the end of the day," Clark said. "That's why I don't stress out at all. At the beginning of (last) week, that was the decision my coaches and I talked about, the decision they decided to make, and I respected it. My number was called, unfortunately we had some injuries happen, and I was ready to go."

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kei'Trel Clark (13) during the Week 5 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Oct 8, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.