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Arizona Cardinals using extra practice time to test young players

Guys at the end of the roster get tested with extra reps in practice on Monday.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said that the Monday practice the team had in full pads was "an outstanding beginning to the week."

Arians took advantage of the rule allowing two practices with full pads this week and used it to give some young guys at the end of the roster some extra reps to see if they were "they depth we are looking for, are they making the progress we want in case we need them."

From what Darren Urban wrote on the official team site, the players he specifically was looking at were the guys on the practice squad (he mentioned tight end Darren Fells), Earl Watford, Dontay Moch and D.C. Jefferson.

Arians made clear that he was not considering any lineup changes. It is just something different the coaching staff can do for evaluation purposes when they are not necessarily doing specific game planning yet. In fact, with the bye next week, we can probably expect more of the same.

If you recall, in 2012, it was this same time of year when Ken Whisenhunt made some lineup changes. Nate Potter took over at left tackle. Ryan Lindley took over at quarterback, entering a game after the bye. Whiz said that they ran more competitive practices the week of the bye because there was not game planning for an opponent.

So while Arians said that there are going to be no lineup changes, let us wait and see for the game against the Houston Texans after the bye. Will Arians be singing the same song then?

On a related note about young players, there apparently is one that may or may not be in the doghouse of sorts. Something is up though. After playing only three snaps against the San Francisco 49ers, including one in which he was called for a neutral zone infraction, linebacker Dontay Moch was inactive on Thursday against the Seahawks.

ESPN reporter Josh Weinfuss asked Moch about being inactive for the game. He referred Weinfuss to Arians. Arians, when Weinfuss asked if Moch would be ready on Sunday for the Falcons, answered with a clear "no" and no other explanation.

Moch has not been on any injury report (although there is no report until Wednesday) and, according to multiple reporters, he was not out at all in the open part of practice.

According to Weinfuss, Moch (a local high school product) still believes that he has things to show off and contribute.

The lack of comments by both player and coach seem to remind me of O'Brien Schofield, who, once released by Arizona and signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Schofield couldn't crack the linebacker rotation and ended up working with the rookies in offseason drills.

Is this another case like Schofield? Is Arians upset with Moch's progress? Is it simply Marcus Benard who is playing better?

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