One ESPN NFC West post recently posited the question who are the "can't lose" players on the teams in the division, excluding quarterbacks.
For Arizona, they selected Larry Fitzgerald. For the Seahawks, it was safety Earl Thomas. For the 49ers, it was defensive tackle Justin Smith. For the Rams, it was defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
Looking at the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald is a very important piece of the offense, but would the team be devastated without him? I posed the question after the 49ers lost Michael Crabtree to an Achilles injury. While it would be tough, if Michael Floyd steps up like many believe he will, then they could potentially weather the storm and keep moving offensively.
Nonetheless, Fitz is a very good candidate, one that most would say.
But who could be other candidates? Remember...we are excluding the QB position, so Carson Palmer is out.
You're laughing, I know it (or you're cussing). Hear me out. Sure, he has been the whipping boy for all the Cardinals' problems for a while, but you did see what happened last year when he was lost to injury, right? The line fell apart. Losing that cog set the whole line awry. Maybe you'll think that with Nate Potter around, it wouldn't be as dire. He is, though, at least a candidate.
We will need to see how the defense is schemed, but the fact you can pretty much let Peterson chase around the opponent's top wideout makes things a lot easier. If you take him out of the equation, the defense changes a lot. He is already a very good corner. He is on the verge of becoming elite. Plus, you have to factor in his punt return threat.
This year, with a greater focus on the dominance of the defensive line, Campbell's absence would be quote notable. His tackles and pressure on the quarterback will be hard to be replaced. You could make a case for Darnell Dockett, but considering his decline in production over the past two seasons, you have to know that Campbell is the more important player now.
Honorable Mentions: Daryl Washington, Karlos Dansby
Washington's absence a season ago would be very difficult to overcome, but with the addition of Dansby, and likewise is Dansby were to be lost, Washington would be there to replace him.
Anyone else you think could be seen as indispensable?
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.