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Kenyan Drake Ready To Dive in With Cardinals

Notes: Patrick Peterson glad trade deadline has passed; injury update

RB Kenyan Drake catches a pass during Tuesday's practice.
RB Kenyan Drake catches a pass during Tuesday's practice.

It's no longer pool weather in Arizona, but Kenyan Drake wants to make a splash on Thursday night.

Despite only three days of preparation, the team's newest running back said he would welcome a substantial role in the primetime game against the 49ers on Halloween.

It could happen, as Cardinals running backs David Johnson (ankle) and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) seem likely to miss the contest with injuries.

"I've always been the type of person, you go to a swimming pool, you don't just dip your toe in, you dive right in," said Drake, who was acquired from the Dolphins on Monday for a conditional 2020 draft pick. "This is up my alley."

There are two other running backs on the roster, but neither Alfred Morris nor Zach Zenner has much more experience than Drake, as they each arrived only five days prior.

Zenner was thrust into a major role earlier than planned last week in New Orleans when Edmonds went down in the third quarter, and his lack of experience within the offense was noticeable. Morris was inactive but could be an option against San Francisco.

The Cardinals are doing their best to get all three running backs up to speed.

"You're a little bit behind the 8-ball, but James Saxon and the (other) running backs coaches have been spending time with these guys," passing game coordinator Tom Clements said. "All of them that we brought in are veterans. They have probably run very similar plays and had very similar protections. It's just a question of putting it in to their old terminology what we want them to do. That's the biggest thing. And maybe try to limit what they're going to do in a particular game or particular situation so they can dial in on what they need to know."

Drake said he arrived in Arizona at 4 p.m. on Monday and took his physical. Three hours later, he arrived at the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center and began immediate preparation. He said his grasp of the playbook took a major step forward when the Cardinals practiced on Tuesday afternoon.

"It really started to click when I got on the field, because I'm more of a tactile learner," Drake said. "I've got to go out there and run around and get the plays from there. The more I'm on the field, the more comfortable I get, and I've got another day to get that under wraps. And from there, the game is on Thursday. The bullets are flying, and I'll be ready."


Cornerback Patrick Peterson's name swirled as a possible trade candidate the last few weeks, but General Manager Steve Keim stated multiple times he did not intend to deal the perennial Pro Bowler.

Peterson indeed stayed with the team on Tuesday and was at the press conference podium minutes after the 1 p.m. deadline.

"It passed?" Peterson said with a hearty laugh. "So you guys can stop asking me these questions. Jesus Christ.

"For the most part, I really don't pay attention to any of that stuff. Whenever someone taps me on the shoulder, I guess my time is up."

Peterson is under contract with the Cardinals through 2020.


Right tackle Justin Murray (knee) didn't practice on Tuesday, which calls into question his availability against San Francisco. The team has already placed starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) and in-season addition Jordan Mills (knee) on injured reserve, straining the depth at the position.

Edmonds, Johnson, defensive end Zach Allen (neck) and linebacker Haason Reddick (knee) also did not practice. Those limited were tight end Darrell Daniels (ankle), linebacker Dennis Gardeck (ankle), wide receiver Trent Sherfield (knee), outside linebacker Cassius Marsh (concussion) and tight end Charles Clay (back).

The 49ers held a walkthrough, but running back Matt Breida (ankle), running back Raheem Mostert (knee), tight end Levine Toilolo (groin), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (knee), tackle Mike McGlinchey (knee) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) would not have practiced. Those who would have been limited were defensive end Dee Ford (quadricep), tackle Justin Skule (knee/foot) and tackle Joe Staley (fibula).

A chronological look at the Cardinals' eighth regular season game against the Saints