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Patrick Peterson Injury An Unlikely Sight

Notes: Top-flight CB has ankle issue; Nelson may return punts; Floyd, Coop practice; Arians the star


Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson injured his ankle while covering A.J. Green on this play in the fourth quarter.

Linebacker Kevin Minter has been teammates with cornerback Patrick Peterson dating back to their LSU days, and something beyond his preternatural talent has always stood out.

"He's never hurt," Minter said.

Peterson hasn't missed a game in his five-year NFL career, but that's in peril as the Cardinals prepare for Week 11 against the 49ers.

He sat out practice on Wednesday, and coach Bruce Arians said Peterson could miss Thursday's practice as well. Peterson injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win against the Bengals while tracking wide receiver A.J. Green on a long pass.

The Cardinals allowed 10 points after he departed and Arians said Monday "our matchups got exposed a little bit" when the secondary had to reshuffle.

Peterson gave up only two catches on six targets while shadowing Green, and he's done a magnificent job all year. The highest receiving total against him in a game this year was 56 in Chicago, and a huge chunk came because he made a mental mistake and covered the wrong player on a 48-yard touchdown pass.

It's the only score Peterson has allowed this season.

"He's, I think, the best corner in the game," safety Tony Jefferson said. "We put him on the best receiver and he shuts them down. That's what he's been doing, and when there's a conversation of a guy like that not playing, we've got to bring up the next guy, but at the same time, we'll obviously miss that on the field."

If Peterson doesn't play, cornerback Justin Bethel will move to the starting lineup. However, Arians said the team won't err on the side of caution with Peterson this week against a foe with a subpar passing offense.

"God no," Arians said. "There's no sitting out now. We've got too much at stake."


J.J. Nelson burst onto the scene as a receiver in last week's win over the Bengals, but he's yet to establish himself as a special teams return man. It seems a natural fit for someone who is among the fastest players in the NFL, but Nelson lost his punt return duties in Week 2 after muffing a punt against the Bears.

Peterson has taken over, but Arians said Nelson could resume his role due to Peterson's injury.

"That's something we'll talk about," Arians said. "(Peterson) doesn't want to (relinquish the job), but we'll talk about it."

Nelson has three returns on the season for only 15 yards but showed in the preseason he can be dangerous if a seam is there. While he didn't want to make excuses for the miscue in Chicago, Nelson said the sun was in eyes as he tried to track the punt. He hurt his shoulder on the play as well.

"After that play, I was down on myself," Nelson said. "Going out and muffing a punt, and getting hurt on the same play where you're out for a couple of weeks? That's heavy on a player."

Nelson lined up in the end zone on kickoff returns last week opposite David Johnson, but he didn't get a ball. While he's made an impact on offense, Nelson is itching to perform on special teams as well.

"I'm waiting on that moment, whether it's kickoff return or punt return," he said. "I just want to take one back. Get back to the old days. Hopefully that time will come."


Guard Jonathan Cooper (knee) and wide receiver Michael Floyd (hamstring) returned to practice in a limited capacity after missing the win over the Bengals. Arians said earlier this week that Ted Larsen will remain the starting right guard if Cooper is limited by the injury.

Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (chest) and defensive tackle Cory Redding (ankle) missed practice Wednesday and are unlikely to play this week, Arians said. Wide receiver John Brown (hamstring) and defensive tackle Ed Stinson (groin) also sat, but could return Thursday.

Defensive tackle Calais Campbell (knee), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (ankle) and running back Chris Johnson (knee) were limited.

For the 49ers, linebacker NaVorro Bowman (shoulder/finger), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (concussion) and running back Carlos Hyde (foot) didn't practice. Those limited were defensive tackle Arik Armstead (shoulder), guard Alex Boone (triceps), defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie (hip), tackle Erik Pears (knee) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (knee).


The trailer for an episode of the NFL Network's "A Football Life" starring Bruce Arians has been released, and the documentary will air Dec. 11. Arians was asked Wednesday how it felt to be a subject in the ongoing series.

"Very humbling that anybody would actually want to watch it, but it was fun doing it," he said.

Arians enjoyed the finished product, especially because it highlighted someone special in his life.

"My mom, she's the star," he said.


The Cardinals chose Campbell as their nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The winner is selected in a vote from the players and will be announced the night before the Super Bowl. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the inaugural winner of the award in 2014.

The Cardinals served Thanksgiving dinner to many in need on Monday night at the Phoenix Rescue Mission

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