Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy will be going on IR-Designated to return, another hit to the Cardinals' decimated defense.
Calais Campbell got what he thought was good news about his injured knee. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that left the bad news for someone else.
Campbell, injured by an illegal chop block, has a right knee MCL strain that could sideline him anywhere from one-to-three weeks. It could have been worse, Campbell tweeted, and in a brief conversation Monday afternoon Campbell was in excellent spirits.
There was no structural damage.
But coach Bruce Arians dropped the news that starting outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, a key to the Cardinals' excellent run defense, will be placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list because of a knee injury.
Shaughnessy will be back, but he must miss a minimum of six weeks before he can practice and he must skip eight games. That would make him eligible to come back before the Cardinals play Kansas City Dec. 7. Shaughnessy would miss games against Washington, at Oakland, Philadelphia, at Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, at Seattle and at Atlanta
Shaughnessy played the entire game in Denver. Arians said the problem is an accumulation of different plays.
"We really can't put a finger on what actual play it happened," Arians said.
With the injuries, the Cardinals will play against Washington Sunday without six of their starting front seven from a season ago. Inside linebacker Karlos Dansby left as a free agent, inside linebacker Daryl Washington is suspended, while outside linebackers Shaughnessy and John Abraham, along with defensive ends Campbell and Darnell Dockett, are all hurt. Dockett and Abraham are out for the season.
Alex Okafor will take Shaughnessy's place in the lineup. Campbell's spot will be manned through a rotation. Arians said he'll use all the defensive linemen at his disposal, which includes nose tackle Dan Williams playing some end. Arians said he doesn't want veteran Tommy Kelly playing 60-plus plays, as was necessary in Denver.
FOOTE ANGRY ABOUT CAMPBELL HIT
Arians called the chop block on Campbell by Broncos tight end Julius Thomas the dirtiest play he had ever seen, a stance for which the coach had taken some criticism Monday. But Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote agreed – strongly – with his coach.
"Current players, ex-players, they should be disgusted with that play," Foote said. "I heard commentators try to mock B.A., but
show me a play that's dirtier. Maybe you can match it, but it won't be more dirty.
"I'm waiting to see what the league does, but that looked like Karate Kid. 'Sweep the leg, Johnny.' It was ugly. That's a black eye to football, period. Even their own players knew it."
Foote said Broncos players on the field were acknowledging it wasn't a clean play. Foote also admitted he's seen plenty of dirty plays through his 13 years in the NFL, including some plays "I regret." Foote said he hoped "it's not coming from the sideline."
One of the problems the Cardinals have with Thomas' explanation that it wasn't on purpose was that Thomas got up after the hit and ran a pass pattern. He later told Foote he thought it was a run play called, one of the reasons Foote believes it was premeditated.
Arians said he talked to Broncos coach John Fox after the game, and said Fox had no idea what happened on the play other than a penalty was called.
Now Campbell sits for at least a game. Thomas, who insisted again Monday there was no intent to injure, could be fined.
"It should be more than a fine," Foote said. "Even his own players should look at him funny.
"That hurt the Shield. They talk about protect the Shield, that ain't protecting the Shield if you're just going to slap a little fine on them."
GROIN SIDELINES ZASTUDIL AGAIN
Punter Dave Zastudil played for the first time Sunday, booting 11 times for a 44.3 average. But it came at a price. He reinjured the groin muscle in his left (kicking) leg, and his status for the Washington game is in doubt.
"I'm just extremely frustrated," Zastudil said. "I told them how bad I wanted to play, the game comes, you have adrenaline, go full out and sometimes (the injury) is just not ready for that."
The Cardinals still have punter Drew Butler, who kicked in the Cards' first three games, on the practice squad if needed.