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With Undefeated Cardinals, Health Remains Crucial

Kingsbury has no official updates on Williams, Hudson

Center Rodney Hudson left Sunday's game with a ribs injury.
Center Rodney Hudson left Sunday's game with a ribs injury.

The Cardinals remain the only undefeated team in the NFL, and their hope for a potential Super Bowl run continues to grow after a 5-0 start.

But they want to stay as healthy as they can.

Sunday's 17-10 win over the 49ers came with a price, when both center Rodney Hudson (ribs) and tight end Maxx Williams (knee) left the game. Coach Kliff Kingsbury did not have an update on their status Monday, but added he'd know more in the coming days.

Williams' injury looked serious as he was carted off. If Hudson isn't ready next Sunday at Cleveland, Kingsbury believes center Max Garcia can step in his place and produce.

"We love what Max is about and what he's brought to the table," Kingsbury said. "Whether we've asked him to go at guard or center, he doesn't blink – works hard at it and studies hard at it. If he has to play this week at center, he will be ready to go. The team and the offensive line room have a tremendous amount of faith in him."

Starting cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson also missed the 49ers' game with rib injuries.

"We're hoping the weekend off will benefit those guys," Kingsbury said. "We'll see. It will be day-to-day. We'll go in this week and see how they feel and how they're moving around – and take it from there."

Kingsbury said the Cardinals have room to improve heading into the matchup with the Browns, but believes their ceiling is high if they can avoid durability problems.

"No doubt," Kingsbury said. "When you look at the tape; it's just little things here and there. But when you talk about effort and physicality and toughness – and making plays in crucial situations – they're coming through. But we have to stay healthy."

The Cardinals are not the only team dealing with injuries. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will miss at least a month with a ruptured middle finger tendon that recently required surgery. The 49ers just played the Cardinals without its starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and All-Pro tight end George Kittle.

The Browns are another Super Bowl contender with injuries. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed Sunday's game against. the Chargers. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is on Injured Reserve, although he may return this week.

The Browns have a top-five ranked offense in the NFL, fresh off pouring 532 yards and 42 points on the Chargers. The defense – led by All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett – also ranks top-five in the NFL.

Injuries and all, Kingsbury is focused on facing another vaunted high powered offense and expects his team to be ready with the next man up mentality.

"The Browns are loaded," Kingsbury said. "They're as talented as roster you'll find in the NFL. Kevin Stefanski is an incredible offensive mind. He's a guy like Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay that does a tremendous job with the quarterbacks – building great weapons around them. Baker Mayfield is playing at a really high level and it will be a huge challenge for us."

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