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8-20-11: Bird Droppings - Cards Lose, Williams Injured

Overall, even though the Cardinals lost the game last night they played well, especially the starters who were able to lead some long drives on offense and hold the Pack in check on defense. But the most important news is the horrible injury to Ryan Williams that looks like it will keep him out for the entire season. Our prayers are with him.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Cardinals fall 28-20 to Packers in preseason
Aaron Rodgers topped off a sharp performance with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings and the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers beat the Arizona Cardinals 28-20 in a preseason game on Friday night.

Cardinals running back Ryan Williams likely out for season
Cardinals rookie running back Ryan Williams suffered an injury to his lower right knee and leg early in the third quarter Friday night and left the field on a cart. The early indication on the injury was that Williams ruptured a patella tendon, which would require season-ending surgery.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
With a healthy Jermichael Finley and a no-huddle offense that can keep opponents on their heels, the Green Bay Packers might be even more dangerous this season. Working without a huddle in the second quarter of Friday night's preseason game against Arizona at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers found Finley on three straight plays, softening up the Cardinals' defense for an eventual 20-yard touchdown strike to Greg Jennings. The Packers went on to beat the Cardinals 28-20, making Finley's return to competitive football a successful one after a knee injury sidelined him for last season's Super Bowl run.

Cardinals open up their defensive playbook vs. Packers
The Cardinals opened their defensive playbook a bit wider against the Packers and managed to put pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers despite a 28-20 loss.

Three things revisited: Cardinals-Packers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back upon three things discussed here before the Arizona Cardinals' 28-20 preseason defeat at Green Bay on Friday night:

A Painful Learning Experience
RB Ryan Williams likely out for season in 28-20 loss at Green Bay

Word From the Birds Blog - RB Ryan Williams out for season
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that running back Ryan Williams’ right knee injury is likely a ruptured patella tendon. The diagnosis must be officially confirmed, but Williams will be out for the season. It’s a hard blow for this offense, especially the way Williams had been flashing his talent. The whole team gathered around him when he was carted from the field, something fellow back Beanie Wells said was because of how the whole team has gotten to like such a good kid. And now his season is over before it really started.

Quarterback John Skelton leaves game with injury - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals lost back-up quarterback John Skelton to an injury during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday night. Skelton is believed to have a sprained ankle.

Inside the Box: Cardinals lose game, players to injury - ArizonaSports.com
After every Arizona Cardinals game we'll examine the box score and provide you with instant analysis. So it's time to go Inside the Box for August 19, 2011: Packers 28, Cardinals 20

Cardinals need Darnell Dockett to step up in 2011 - ArizonaSports.com
While Dockett didn't play horribly last year, Sports 620 KTAR's Doug Franz thinks he certainly wasn't the player he wants everyone to think he is.

Word From the Birds Blog - Packers aftermath
It’s very late and the trip to the airport comes very early. So we will make this aftermath brief. At least, that’s the plan as I start.

It's only preseason, but Kevin Kolb must step up soon for the Cardinals - ArizonaSports.com
It's only preseason, it's only preseason, it's only preseason. This is what I'm having to tell myself in order to not panic over what I've seen from Kevin Kolb. If you've read my columns over the last few months you know I was not as high on Kolb as many others and, through two preseason games the new signal caller has done little to allay my concerns. It's not as if Kolb has been bad, as he's completed 10 of 18 throws and racked up 148 yards, all without throwing a pick. Kolb's scrambled, shown accuracy and been willing to throw the deep ball. But he hasn't completed a nice pass downfield (without the aid of a miracle catch by Larry Fitzgerald), hasn't always been accurate and has yet to lead a touchdown drive. Kolb has held onto the ball too long and missed open receivers, and struggled to see the entire field.

QBR: Warner, Hasselbeck and playoffs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Sando digs into the stats to see how Kurt Warner and Matt Hasselbeck faired during playoff performances by looking at their QBR's. We know Kurt was a performer during the big moments, but it is surprising to see that Hasselbeck wasn't too shabby himself.

Cardinals running back Ryan Williams leaves game with injury - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals may be in the market for another running back.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Post-game spread
With running back Ryan Williams likely out for the season, the Cardinals decision to trade Tim Hightower to the Redskins again will be questioned. At least the timing of it. Williams likely suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee Friday. Tests will confirm, but it appears he's headed for surgery and a long rehabilitation period. There already has been a lot of second-guessing, via twitter, about trading Hightower. And the timing of the deal was interesting. No one was surprised that Hightower was traded, but I thought it was more likely to happen later in camp. With Hightower gone, the Cardinals have only four running backs in camp. Now it's three. And that counts LaRod Stephens-Howling, who at 5-7 and 185 pounds is not going to replace Beanie Wells should something happen to him. Coaches are pleased with the development of Alfonso Smith, who was on the practice squad last year, but the team likely will add a back in the coming days. The options aren't attractive. With rosters at 90, most backs are already in camp. You can find flaws in all the ones available, from Tiki Barber to LenDale White to Laurence Maroney.

Arizona Cardinals suspect RB Ryan Williams will miss season - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' offensive hopes took a big hit when rookie running back Ryan Williams was carted off the field with a right knee injury early in the third quarter during a preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers Friday night.

Rookie Sam Acho making transtition and difference - ArizonaSports.com
While rookie Patrick Peterson is grabbing most of the attention, another first-year player is trying to make a big transition. Sam Acho was the Cardinals' fourth round selection, and the Texas product is trying to transition from defensive end to linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 defense.

Which Beanie Wells will show up for the Cardinals? - ArizonaSports.com
As a fan of the Cards you may be wondering why Beanie Wells is still the team's starting running back.

Cardinals fearing worst for Ryan Williams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals think rookie running back Ryan Williams tore a patella tendon in his right knee.

Cardinals can thank the Packers for Kevin Kolb - ArizonaSports.com
"The Green Bay Packers made it possible for Kevin Kolb to be a Cardinal." Those are the words of Sports 620 KTAR's John Gambadoro, and the butterfly effect certainly works here. As Gambadoro notes, Kolb was the future of the Philadelphia Eagles going into last season's opener against the Packers. However, a hit from Packer linebacker Casey Matthews knocked the QB out of the game with a concussion, Michael Vick took over and the rest, as they say, is history.

Arizona Cardinals' cornerback, quarterback subplots for game against Green Bay Packers
The score of Friday night's Arizona Cardinals preseason game against the Green Bay Packers has little meaning, but there are at least two interesting subplots to the game at Lambeau Field.

NFL Videos: Cardinals vs. Packers Highlights
Watch highlights from an explosive preseason game as the Packers defeated the Cardinals 28-20..

Arizona Sports News:

Braves use homers to shut down Diamondbacks
Kirk Gibson tried to push buttons and pull levers with his batting order Friday, rearranging his slumping hitters with his hotter ones, reacting quickly to an offensive drought that began just a few days ago. He might as well have been shaking up an already-open, day-old can of soda. The Diamondbacks still were flat. They put more pressure on the Atlanta Braves in a 4-2 loss on Friday night than they did in the previous three games in Philadelphia, but the end result was another loss, their third in four games on a road trip everyone knew would be difficult - and thus far, has been.

NFL News:

What we learned on Friday night | ProFootballTalk
We know not everyone was home on Friday night, watching the six preseason games. So we’ll try to summarize what you missed below.

Cam Newton leaves the door open | ProFootballTalk
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he would decide his starting quarterback before next week’s preseason game. While Cam Newton looks like the favorite for the job, the rookie didn’t make a strong statement Friday night. Newton completed 7-of-14 passes for only 68 yards in one half of work.

Blaine Gabbert fails to close the gap | ProFootballTalk
We heard this week that the Jaguars starting quarterback competition was legit, which made us start to wonder if David Garrard was the new Byron Leftwich. That scenario is a little harder to envision after Friday’s action. Both David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert struggled against the Falcons, but the rookie’s difficulties were more glaring.

Chargers’ counsel says move to L.A. in 2012 would require a "miracle" | ProFootballTalk
With Los Angeles moving closer to building an NFL stadium, one of the NFL teams most commonly tied to L.A. is the closest — the San Diego Chargers. Indeed, there’s some talk that the Chargers could move from Qualcomm Stadium to a temporary location (like the Rose Bowl) as soon as next year. Team counsel Marc Fabiani says that’s highly unlikely.

Jamaal Charles was once almost dealt to the Redskins | ProFootballTalk
Before Jamaal Charles was one of the most explosive players in football, he was a young player that struggled to pick up the Chiefs offense quickly. He was fourth on the depth chart during the 2009 offseason when Todd Haley took over, so the Redskins came calling to see if the Chiefs would move Charles. Vinny Cerrato said on his radio station Friday that the Redskins offered a fourth-round pick.

Report: Jonathan Baldwin hurts wrist in locker room fight | ProFootballTalk
Chiefs first round wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was mysteriously missing from Chiefs practice on Wednesday. A radio report in Kansas City hinted there may be more to the story, but we passed on mentioning it until more information came out. Well, it’s out now. If Nick Wright of 610 Radio in Kansas City is right, the story is a doozy.

NCAA president Mark Emmert says death penalty an option to punish rule-breakers - ESPN
NCAA president Mark Emmert says he's willing to back up his tough talk on punishing rule-breakers -- even using the death penalty as a deterrent.

NFL Game Recaps:

Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
David Garrard threw an interception. Blaine Gabbert misfired several times. Neither did much to alter Jacksonville's quarterback competition Friday night against Atlanta. Garrard didn't solidify his starting spot and Gabbert didn't close the gap. Third-stringer Luke McCown was better than both, completing a 12-yard pass to Armon Binns in the fourth quarter to give the Jaguars a 15-13 victory against the Falcons in an exhibition game.

Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
Pristine one week, penalized the next. The second time around was sloppy for the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. Colt McCoy threw three touchdown passes -- two to tight end Evan Moore -- in the first half, but the Browns blew a 15-point lead after halftime and lost 30-28 to the Lions on Friday night in a penalty-filled exhibition that showed both teams have plenty to fix in the next three weeks before the season opener.

Carolina Panthers vs. Miami Dolphins - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
Cam Newton threw a long desperation pass that fell incomplete on the final play of the first half Friday night, and that's the closest he came to reaching the end zone. The top pick of the NFL draft was shut out in his first exhibition-game start, and Newton's Carolina Panthers lost to the Miami Dolphins 20-10.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
The lopsided score suggests the Baltimore Ravens solved some of their glaring offensive issues after a lackluster start to the preseason. After failing to notch a touchdown in their exhibition opener last week, the Ravens will gladly build on the welcome improvement. Rookie backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor directed two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, the first ending with Jalen Parmele's go-ahead 10-yard TD run with 7:16 remaining, and the Ravens rallied for a 31-13 victory over the winless Chiefs.

Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts - Recap - August 19, 2011 - ESPN
The competition for Washington's starting quarterback job is all square. John Beck led the Redskins to scores on each of their first four possessions, kept the ball for more than 23 minutes in the first half and relied on that fast start to get Washington past the Indianapolis Colts 16-3 on Friday night.