Arizona Cardinals mini-camp: Observations, thoughts and injuries from Day 1

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just some quick thoughts on what I saw at the Cardinals facility.

The Arizona Cardinals began their three-day mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday and the media was there to see and hear. The first 30 minutes of practice was open and then we were able to talk to Bruce Arians and some players afterwards.

Here are a few things I noticed and heard, before I get into the specific comments made when I listen to the audio from today.

1. John Abraham was not at practice. It turns out it was not a big deal. He was ill. Head coach Bruce Arians sent him home after he vomited a few times.

2. Larry Fitzgerald was among those players that were off to the side not practicing. Arians said that it was the hamstring still. That seem a little concerning that it still is bothering him in June.

3. Here are the players that started out warming up on the side, indicating injury: backup center Tommie Draheim, undrafted running back Zach Bauman, safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu, cornerback Teddy Williams, receiver Kelsey Pope, running back Andre Ellington, tight end Troy Niklas (who has a broken hand), cornerback Antonio Cromartie, linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, receiver Jaron Brown, Fitz and linebacker Larry Foote.

Foote just used the exercise bike briefly and Ellington was only over there for a few minutes. It is also important to note that Ellington did that all through OTAs and then never missed a rep of practice, so I don't know the meaning of it, exactly.

After warmups, the only players to not have helmets and to continue on the side were Ta'amu, Brown, Draheim, Mathieu, Niklas and Fitzgerald. Teddy Williams had his helmet but did do some drills off alone from the position group at times, but that could have been in part because he was recently moved from receiver to cornerback.

4. The kick returners were Ted Ginn, John Brown and Walt Powell. The other day in OTAs, it included newcomer Damien Thigpen. He was not part of the group this time.

5. The right side of the offensive line had Paul Fanaika at guard and Bobby Massie at tackle on the first team.

6. Bruce Arians was very high on Justin Bethel, indicating that he has the potential to be the best cornerback on the team, including Patrick Peterson. He also praised the play of safety Tony Jefferson.

7. Arians was not so glowing about linebacker Ernie Sims. When asked about how he was doing, there was a purposeful silence for a few seconds before he said, "OK."

8. Anthony Steen, the undrafted guard out of Alabama, was back on the practice field. He did not warm up with the guys who were hurt, so it appears that he got full clearance from the team doctors.

I'll be back at practice on Wednesday and perhaps Thursday. I'll have more stories up later.

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