In an semi-puzzling move the Arizona Cardinals have reportedly released defensive end Keilen Dykes in an effort to make room for tight end Ben Patrick who is returning from a four game suspension. The puzzling nature of the move is because the team requested, and received, a roster exception for Patrick meaning that he could return to practice without them actually having to release anyone. Of course a move would have to be made later in the week so that Patrick can play this weekend against the Seahawks, but with the exception they could have waited a couple of days and made the move later in the week. Dykes can still be added to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
The second reason that this is semi-puzzling is that a defensive lineman instead of a tight end was released. After seeing the entire tight end position struggle with injuries last season, Stephen Spach's recent ankle injury could have something to do with the decision not to release a tight end. Alan Branch's emergence could also have doomed Dykes' status. This move means that for the time being the team will carry four tight ends even though they've only kept two active on game days. Dominique Byrd, who has been inactive for every game, is surely breathing a sign of relief after hearing that he still has a job.
It'll be interesting to see how long it takes Patrick to return to the starting lineup. He was the front runner to the win the job during the off season and even with his pending suspension he still started most of the preseason games. He is the most complete tight end on the roster and considering the lack of production from the position so far (six receptions for 48 yards), his return to the starting lineup might be eminent. Patrick has shown flashes during his first two seasons of becoming a quality tight end although he struggles with consistency and injuries.