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Looking To Break Out Michael Floyd

Notes: Chris Johnson working toward football shape; Barkley progressing with playbook

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Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd hauls in a 44-yard pass against the 49ers that was nullified because of a penalty.


Michael Floyd pulled down an amazing catch down the field for 44 yards, much to the delight of the roaring crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"Unfortunately," offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said, recounting the play, "Jared was holding."

The penalty on left tackle Jared Veldheer cost Floyd his first big catch of the season. The Cardinals nonetheless drove all the way

down the field for a touchdown, but what it couldn't do was bring back what could have been a big start for the wide receiver.

"He took an explosive play away from Mike," Goodwin said. "We want everyone to be confident and that would've boosted Mike's confidence that much more."

Floyd said the catch would have been nice to have, but it wasn't the first time a play has been nullified.

"It's always hard when you make a big play and something happens like that, but it's a part of football," Floyd said. "You hope it doesn't happen, but it did. You just get back in the huddle and play."

That Floyd is off to a slow start isn't a surprise after he had surgery to repair dislocated fingers in his left hand, causing him to miss the entire preseason. He's had two catches for 30 yards while Larry Fitzgerald has gotten off to the best start of his career and John Brown remains a key target.

Coach Bruce Arians said he expects Floyd's role to continue to grow now that he is healthy. In case his catch-that-wasn't wasn't enough of an indicator, Floyd said his hand is no longer an issue.

Now it's about getting Floyd into the flow of what has been an explosive offense overall.

"I think with any receiver … they want the ball," Goodwin said. "They get the juices flowing. You saw what happened to Larry last week he got the ball and he's doing his Incredible Hulk pose or whatever he is doing, the crowd gets going, it energizes everybody."

CHRIS JOHNSON READY AS ELLINGTON CLOSES IN ON RETURN

Running back Andre Ellington is a game-day decision to play Sunday. Whether or not he plays, veteran Chris Johnson remains the starter for now, coach Bruce Arians said. And why not, after Johnson ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns last week, and added a

40-yard catch-and-run.

"If you look at the best backs in the league right now, look at Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, myself, some guys like that, came into the league about the same time and we're still getting the job done," said Johnson, who turned 30 last week.

Johnson said he's been running extra gassers after Wednesday practices trying to round into shape. He had to come out after his 40-yard reception. Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass the play after.

"I was pretty tired after that run," Johnson said. "That's another reason I need to get all the way in shape. If I had to stay in the game, you need to be in shape to do those things."

BARKLEY MAKING PROGRESS

In theory, Matt Barkley won't have to be active on game day this season. But a month after his arrival in a trade, the third-string quarterback said he's finally caught up to the playbook.

"I'm still trying to learn Carson's thought process, but in terms of the terminology and the formations of the plays, that's starting to become normal to me," Barkley said.

Arians said Barkley has shown he can make all the throws with a strong arm and "knows how to play the position."

Arians praised Barkley's work on the scout team, which not surprisingly has been Barkley's only reps so far. Barkley has yet to get a rep in the Cardinals' actual offense.

"That probably won't come until the offseason," Barkley said, adding that the team's virtual reality setup does get him virtual reps seeing what Palmer sees in the offense.

FAURIA GOES ON INJURED LIST

Tight end Joseph Fauria, who had been on the practice squad, hurt his knee in practuce Thursday and was placed on the practice squad injured list Friday. Tight end Brandon Bostick, who had previously been on the practice squad before he was released, was re-signed to take Fauria's place.

Images of the key players for this week's opponent, the St. Louis Rams



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