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Now 'Millions Of Miles' Better, Andy Isabella Awaits His Shot

Notes: Quiet stadium affecting communication; Kirk not practicing

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella hauls in 54-yard catch against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, September 20, 2020.
WR Andy Isabella celebrates his 54-yard reception against Washington.

There are three notable obstacles keeping Andy Isabella from seeing the field consistently for the Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

If the second-year receiver can build off Sunday's standout performance against Washington, he may barge through anyway.

Isabella had two catches for 67 yards in the 30-15 victory and looked more at ease than at any point during a difficult rookie season in 2019.

"I've come millions of miles from last year," said Isabella, who has played 28 snaps on offense through two games. "I'm way more comfortable. Really way more confident knowing I can play in this league."

Isabella had a 54-yard reception in the first half, showing off his blazing speed by getting five yards behind the deepest Washington defender. He said the Cardinals worked on the play all week, and hopes producing like that will lead to more opportunities in the future.

"Hopefully as time goes on, my role will start to get bigger and bigger," Isabella said. "As time goes on, we'll start seeing more of (both deep and shorter routes). It just comes with being in the game the whole time, instead of just having those couple special plays in there."

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Isabella's display in Week 2 was a continuation of recent improvement.

"Andy's progressed really well from last year," Kingsbury said. "He had a tremendous camp. He has great speed that we've got to be able to utilize, and that's on me to continue to incorporate him in the offense and find ways to get him the ball. What you saw on Sunday is what we've seen throughout camp, and hopefully we'll continue to see that."

It's a welcome turn for the former second-round pick, who did not have the type of debut campaign he expected.

"When you come in as a rookie after the draft, you think it's going be easy and you're going to play all (the time)," Isabella said. "It was kind of a wakeup call when I got here. You've got to really work, so I just put my foot down and said, 'I'm not going to let it be like this. I'm going to work hard and show them that I deserve to be on the field.' That's what I'm continuing to do."


Isabella compared the first two games of the season to glorified practices because the lack of fans made the stadiums so quiet.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters said there are significant differences before the snap because things said on the field can be heard so much easier.

"It's kind of weird," Peters said. "I think the biggest adjustment for me is I can hear the coaches. So I can hear what the d-line coach is saying. Sometimes they're hollering out plays we've seen on tape out of this formation, things like that. You can hear the communication a little bit better, as far as what the offense is talking about. Although you have to be careful with that, because they know you can hear them, so there's always opportunity to play the game within the game there."

It will be a little louder on Sunday against the Lions, as the Cardinals will have a small segment of friends and family in the stands at State Farm Stadium.

"It's going to be a great experience," Kingsbury said. "I know our players were thrilled to hear that Michael (Bidwill) was doing that."


Kirk, who was sidelined for portions of Sunday's win over Washington with a groin injury, missed Wednesday's practice with the ailment. Center Mason Cole (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (ankle) also missed practice.

Fitzgerald and Hopkins had maintenance days, while cornerback Byron Murphy (shoulder) was limited.

For the Lions, cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring) did not practice, while wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring), tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot), tight end Hunter Bryant (hamstring) and defensive tackle Nick Williams (shoulder) were limited.

Images of the Cardinals cheerleaders during the Week 2 matchup against Washington.