We've been in the midst of injuries at the wrong place and the wrong time this week, which isn't good news considering the playoffs start for the Cardinlas on Sunday. In a pointless week 17 game against the Packers, the Cardinals lost three starters to injury, including Cardinals Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The initial report was that he may have torn a knee ligament, but the actual injury was a bruised kneecap. DRC's made the effort to practice this week, and as of Thursday, it looks as if his chances of playing are better. If he's unable to play on Sunday, who will start in his absence?
We already know Bryant McFadden will get the primary role, so that means the #2 spot will be wide open for the time being. Here's the next three corners on the depth chart:
Ralph Brown: 17 tackles, 1 INT
Brown has been a serviceable nickel defensive back, but that is all. He's brings veteran leadership and experience to the unit, and was clutch in the playoffs last year, catching two interceptions. He doesn't have the size(5'10) nor speed to keep up with the elite receivers in the league. He often gets caught out of position and isn't the best tackler on the team.
Michael Adams: 40 tackles, 1 INT
Adams has been a fan favorite from his play in the preseason and standout skills on special teams. He's very short(5'8) to be playing defensive back, but what he lacks in size he makes up in heart. Adams is a very good tackler, and can bring down even the bigger running backs. His achilles heel will always be his size, which hurts against receivers that can go up and get the ball.
Greg Toler: 11 tackles, 1 INT
Toler is the Cardinals 4th round pick and has only seen the field for a limited amount of time this year. He was considered very raw coming out of college and a work in progress. He plays taller(5'10) then the other two and has the talent to be a solid starting cornerback in the league one day. The question is when? He's surely not ready to start his first game, let alone in the playoffs. As we saw last week, he got lost on the Jermichael Finly touchdown in the end zone.
If I had to make a wild guess I'd assume that Ken Whisenhunt will start the veteran, Ralph Brown. He's played in the playoffs before and has seen the field this year a lot more then the other two. While I'd like Toler to suit up and show us what he's made of, I realize that won't happen soon.