Cardinals rookie Will Holden has played this season but not at left tackle.
In the past few weeks, Cardinals rookies Budda Baker and Ricky Seals-Jones have capitalized on an uptick in playing time.
Fifth-round pick Will Holden would love to be the next youngster with a chance to shine.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer (elbow) missed his second straight practice on Thursday, putting his availability for Sunday's matchup with the Titans in question. While offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said he "would anticipate Jared, being the competitor he is, being out there," Holden is ready to go if needed.
"If I played I'd be happy," Holden said. "That's what I was drafted for, to be a tackle. I played tight end. I played guard. I haven't played tackle yet. So it would be good to get in there and mix it up a little bit where I've played. I played left tackle in college, in high school. To get back to it would be awesome."
Goodwin said if Holden has to play, he'd be confident in his ability to hold up at the ever-important position on the quarterback's blind side. Goodwin said there was a lull in Holden's work ethic earlier this season, but it has been ironed out after a conversation with the rookie.
"He's grown up a little bit," Goodwin said. "I think he has a bright future as long as he keeps climbing the ladder and doing what he needs to do."
Holden said it has been a challenge at times grinding through in his first professional season.
"It's definitely been a rookie season, for sure," Holden said. "A lot of ups and a lot of downs. You come in and you're hot on football, football, football, but it's a longer season than college, so you get burnt out a little bit. You've just got to find that second thing to keep you motivated to get you through, so you can pick it up and finish the season strong."
Holden said he's found that resolve.
"You've got to push yourself mentally over that edge," he said. "Some people have rituals. Some people find different ways of thinking about it. At the end of the day, you just do it."
TOO MUCH BOOM OR BUST FOR NELSON
receiver J.J. Nelson made a tremendous play on Sunday, hauling in a contested pass despite being interfered with against the Rams. But he also had issues hanging on to other throws – Nelson had two catches on eight targets -- and that inconsistency has been a theme this season.
Nelson, one of the fastest players in the NFL, said his speed can be a mental detriment.
"I get so caught up in catching that ball and trying to go 80-plus yards instead of catching the ball and going two or three," Nelson said. "I get caught up in that and it comes back to bite me in the behind."
PETERSONS DON'T PRACTICE
Running back Adrian Peterson (neck) and cornerback Patrick Peterson (hamstring) both missed practice on Thursday. Adrian Peterson was hurt against the Jaguars and didn't play last week. Patrick Peterson was limited in practice on Wednesday and downgraded Thursday. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro (ankle) was also downgraded from limited participation and didn't practice.
Wide receiver John Brown was limited as he tries to make his way back from a turf toe injury. Also limited were defensive lineman Corey Peters (ankle), wide receiver Jaron Brown (knee) and Nelson (knee).
For the Titans, linebacker Derrick Morgan (knee) and tight end Delanie Walker (ankle) didn't practice.
RUDY FORD PLACED ON IR
Rookie safety Rudy Ford went on injured reserve with a knee injury on Thursday. Practice squad safety Harlan Miller has been elevated to the active roster to take his place.
The Cardinals signed K.J. Dillon to the practice squad. He was a fifth-round pick of the Texans in 2016.
More images of the Cardinals cheerleaders during the Week 13 matchup