Chris Jones has had a good preseason and a solid training camp, and his head coach has mentioned him multiple times when he brings up players doing well at cornerback.
But when such things are brought up to the second-year Cardinal, Jones would rather downplay everything.
“I’ve always been told, ‘Act like you’ve been there before,’ ” he said. “It’s about coming to work, grind, consistency, and see where it takes you.”
Where it might take him is on to the Cardinals’ roster, with the team dealing with an approaching Patrick Peterson suspension and in need of depth. There could even still be time for Jones to climb past Tramaine Brock or Byron Murphy on the depth chart, at least for the early part of the season.
“Since I’ve watched him, he’s flashed, even in the spring,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Big. physical, workmanlike, approaches his craft the right way. You like to see that. He’s gotten better and better and I’m excited to watch him play these next three weeks.”
Jones, who spent the majority of last season on the Cardinals’ practice squad, isn’t about any bold pronouncements. But he doesn’t want that misconstrued that he’s ill-prepared.
“I’ve been grinding all spring, in the weight room, at practice,” Jones said. “When the time comes, you have to be ready. When they call your name, you can’t be scared.”
ISABELLA WILL PLAY HIS FIRST GAME
Rookie wide receiver Andy Isabella missed the preseason opener last week, but he had returned to practice in the finale workout before that game, meaning he’s been able to practice a week heading into his first NFL game Thursday.
“Anytime you’re a young player and you miss a week and a half or so, there will be some catching up to do,” Kingsbury said. “That’s where he’s at. We know he’s dynamic in his speed and when the ball is in his hands, and we just have to get him back in the groove.”
Isabella’s top spot on the field is probably in the slot, which just happens to be the place best suited for the top two receivers on the team, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. But Kingsbury said he wasn’t concerned about getting them all the work needed.
“We’ll make sure to maximize all the guys on this roster,” Kingsbury said.
GILBERT BACK AT PRACTICE
Right tackle Marcus Gilbert was back at the outdoor practice Tuesday after missing the previous couple of days. Kingsbury said it wasn’t about injuries.
“He’s a veteran and we want to make sure he’s healthy and feeling good for the game,” Kingsbury said. “He’ll be full go.”