The final game of the preseason has arrived. Tonight the Arizona Cardinals will take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. For most players this game means nothing, but for some players it is everything. This game represents the last chance they have of getting on a roster. But even if these players do not make the Cardinals’ roster, there will be plenty of other teams scoping the waivers for talent. Starters and main back-ups will not play in this game leaving all the snaps to players fighting for their NFL dreams.
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Cardinals Vying for a Roster Sport
With the starters already having their eyes set on Detroit for Week 1, this leaves the rest of the 89-man roster preparing for Denver. However, according to Bruce Arians there are a few spots still open. According to Kyle Odegard of Azcardinals.com Richie Leone and Matt Wile are still battling it out for the punting job. Additionally, the fifth safety spot could go down to Harlan Miller, Rudy Ford or Ironhead Gallon. Miller can play safety and cornerback so he may have an advantage over the other two players.
For the linebacker positon Scooby Wright is another guy that could definitely make the team because of all the injuries at the position. However, Deone Bucannon has returned from his injury so that could spell the end for Wright. Wright has not impressed in the preseason, but would primarily be a depth and special teams player if he were to make the roster.
More Tough Calls
In terms of the offense, the wide receiver group presents another interesting decision for General Manager Steve Keim. With the first five wide receivers solidified that sixth spot seems up for grabs. Most likely it is between Brittan Golden and Aaron Dobson. Throughout the preseason, Golden has definitely positioned himself to earn the spot. However, Dobson remains confident. When asked about his value that he can bring to the Cardinals offense, he had this to say: “I definitely think I can take the top off a defense,” Dobson said. “I can do the intermediate routes. I feel like I can bring a little bit of everything to the Cardinals.”
Dobson’s last chance to make an impact will be on Thursday. He has battled a hamstring injury throughout training camp so he barely been on the field. If he wants any chance of resurrecting his once promising NFL career the second-round pick needs to ball out Thursday night.
Then looking at the running backs, there is a chance that either Elijhaa Penny or Andre Ellington get cut. Both of these guys are near the bottom of the depth chart when it comes to running back, but Penny may have an advantage over Ellington. Despite the fact that Ellington has a more impressive resume, Penny can play special teams. The Cardinals may see more value from having a lesser running back that can be used on special teams.
Chances are that by Thursday’s game the coaches and staff have already decided who they are going to keep and cut. However, for the guys on the bubble, this is where they need to make an impact. Either way Keim will have his work cut out for him when he has to cut the 89-man roster down to 53 by 1 PM on Saturday. Looks like he is going to have a crazy fun weekend.