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Player Health And What Training Camp Might Look Like

Gannon making 'football performance' a priority after injury-filled 2022

Injuries and player health helped drag down the Cardinals last season. So maybe it wasn't a big surprise to hear new coach Jonathan Gannon say the topic was "one of my main jobs when I got here."

One of Gannon's hires was Shea Thompson as director of football performance. Thompson spent the last four years with the 49ers in a similar role, and the Cardinals want to make a push to avoid the maladies of 2022.

"That's a collaborative effort between a lot of people in the building in how to do that," Gannon said. "I'm excited with the guys we have in place to lean on and get opinions from and ultimately make decisions on what we're going to do. I actually love that part of the job."

What was most interesting about Gannon's outlook, however, was how it might give a glimpse into how training camp could be structured, especially after how the Cardinals went through camp last season trying to be careful with the players. It's possible Gannon's could be similar.

"In Philly after week one or two of training camp (last year), the media said, 'Well you guys won't be ready for Week 1 and you're going to be soft and you're not going to be tough and you're not tackling and you're not going to be good on defense or offense,' " Gannon said about a team that eventually reached the Super Bowl. "(Head coach) Nick (Siranni) understood that it's not just in-a-day progression, it's over a course of 30 days or 35 days or whatever camp is. You want to evaluate and improve and keep your guys healthy. Every decision we make here will be with the players' health in mind."

Arizona Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson (34) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) during the 2022 Arizona Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium on Thursday, August 18, 2022 in Glendale, AZ.