The Cardinals signed veteran defensive lineman Red Bryant Thursday after a rash of injuries at the position.
The Cardinals are confident rookie Markus Golden can be a starter. And injuries have forced a need on the defensive line.
So on Thanksgiving, with veteran outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley needing to go on injured reserve after tearing his pectoral muscle against the Bengals, the Cardinals used that roster spot to add veteran defensive tackle Red Bryant.
With defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (ankle), Cory Redding (ankle) and Ed Stinson (groin) all sitting out practice Thursday, Bryant went from tryout to the practice field seeing a few snaps. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said Bryant is expected to play Sunday in San Francisco too.
"Our history here, we sign someone on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, they're playing by Sunday," Bettcher said. "We'll work out that rotation by the end of the week. But to have a guy of that caliber, we all know what his history is, and he's a physical, hard guy to move."
Bryant, who was released by Buffalo at the end of training camp, played for the Jaguars in 2014 and spent the first six years of his career in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks. He was part of the Super Bowl-winning team in 2013.
The Cardinals are set up to handle the loss of Woodley. Veteran Alex Okafor and rookie Markus Golden will be the starters, and veteran Dwight Freeney has done a nice job as situational pass rusher. Bettcher said the hope is to get Freeney a little more work and that he likes the current rotation.
Rookie Shaq Riddick, who has yet to be active for a game this season, is also available.
In his career, Bryant has 4½ sacks in 80 games. He started 63 of 64 games from 2011-2014, helping fortify the Seahawks' defensive line as they rose to prominence. Bryant said he was close to retiring at one point after last season – he passed on a chance to sign with New England -- but his wife convinced him to get one more chance. His shot with the Bills went bad when he wasn't in the best shape, and Bryant believed he would have to wait until 2016 when the Cardinals called this week.
"If I'm put out there (Sunday), I'll just do what I always did, which is play my heart out," said Bryant, who acknowledged he's not in football shape.
Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said he certainly remembered Bryant when Bryant caused havoc for the Seahawks.
"I would think (tackle) Bobby (Massie) might have a few nightmares about him," Goodwin said. "(Former Cardinal) Nate Potter. Some of those tight ends we had in the early years when I got here."
BUCANNON SUFFERS CONCUSSION, PETERSON'S BABY CLOSE
The long Cardinals' injury list got longer Thursday. Safety Deone Bucannon was added to the group of players who
did not practice Thursday because of a concussion. His absence would be difficult, but the Cards do have veteran Sean Weatherspoon who could step in and play.
Wide receiver John Brown (hamstring) did return after missing Wednesday's practice, but the defensive linemen were out. Guard Jonathan Cooper (knee) and wide receiver Michael Floyd (hamstring), who both were limited Wednesday, were again out there.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson did not practice, but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said Peterson was actually absent because Peterson's wife was close to giving birth to their daughter.
"I think by the end of the week, we will be a little more clear on who is up and who is down," Bettcher said. "I think all those guys who were dinged are making progress and we're certainly hopeful some of those guys will be back Sunday."
STEADY IS GOODWIN'S PREFERENCE ON THE GROUND
The Cardinals were held under 100 yards rushing against the Bengals, but Goodwin is still confident in the ground game – even if there are adjustments he'd like to see made.
"I just think we have to be a little more patient," Goodwin said. "I think there are holes out there.
"I would take four yards over 15 yards any day. Because when you are looking for the 15-yarder all the time, you miss the four-yard run. You end up with two, you end up with one."