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The Snap Count Story - Week 2

Defense forced to extend players with injuries mounting

Missing key defenders on Sunday to injury provided no excuses, Jonathan Gannon said after the loss to the Giants. But for a long time, there has been an adage in most sports and that includes the NFL -- starters start for a reason.

For instance, Andre Chachere has already proven to be a valuable pickup and a player Gannon is familiar with from their time in Philly (Chachere also had previously spent time with the Cardinals under Kliff Kingsbury). He was on the practice squad and was elevated in Week 1, playing three defensive snaps and helping on special teams.

But against the Giants, with Budda Baker out with a hamstring injury, Chachere played 63 of 68 possible defensive snaps. Gannon acknowledged that stamina might have been an issue late, and Chachere was one of six Cardinals that played at least 93 percent of the defensive snaps -- joining safeties K'Von Wallace (68) and Jalen Thompson (68) as well as cornerbacks Marco Wilson (67) and Kei'Trel Clark (66) and linebacker Kyzir White (68). Linebacker Krys Barnes was also up there (56).

-- Perhaps more notable (and potentially troubling) was for a team that embraces defensive line rotation, two guys -- Jonathan Ledbetter and Kevin Strong, each played 50 snaps, or 74 percent of the time. The Cardinals already didn't have L.J. Collier and Leki Fotu, and then Carlos Watkins went down after playing 10 snaps. Dante Stills (18) and Eric Banks (15) played some, but it wasn't as balanced as the previous week.

-- The OLB rotation stayed intact, with five guys -- Collins, Gardeck, Dimukeje, Thomas and Ojulari -- playing between 13 and 39 snaps.

-- Offensively, the Cardinals' OL still hasn't missed a snap from its starters.

-- Running back James Conner was in for 47 of 65 plays, with Keaontay Ingram getting 10 and Emari Demercado 8 (although one was a great blitz pickup of ex-teammate Isaiah Simmons.)

-- Hollywood Brown was in for 94 percent of the plays (61 snaps). The other receivers were Rondale Moore (42 snaps), Michael Wilson (28) and Zach Pascal (23).

-- At tight end, Zach Ertz had 44 snaps, while Trey McBride was at 33 and veteran Geoff Swaim had 28.

Safety Andre Chachere (left) and linebacker Krys Barnes break up a pass on Sunday.
Safety Andre Chachere (left) and linebacker Krys Barnes break up a pass on Sunday.