The Arizona Cardinals made a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday to deal with the injuries that have occurred. They also added insurance at the quarterback position just in case neither Carson Palmer nor Drew Stanton are healthy enough to be available on Sunday.
As expected, linebacker Matt Shaughnessy was placed on injured reserve/designated to return with a knee injury. What was not expected was the move to place punter Dave Zastudil on season-ending injured reserve with a groin injury.
Zastudil has battled a groin injury all season. He did not punt in the team's first three games. He did on Sunday, but re-aggravated the injury. His season is over, and that led to the team promoting Drew Butler from the practice squad. Butler punted in the team's first three games.
Initially I wondered if the injury would be serious enough to keep him on the list all season without an injury settlement, but a Zastudil tweet tells us he intends on coming back next season. He is signed through next season.
I look forward to getting healthy and competing next year! This is frustrating but very motivating...I will be ready to go next season...— Dave Zastudil (@zasty9) October 7, 2014
To replace Shaughnessy on the roster, the team re-signed linebacker Marcus Benard. Benard played for the team last season, was with the team in training camp, was among final cuts, then was re-signed when John Abraham was away from the team contemplating retirement and then finally cut upon Abraham's return.
Benard will be at the back of the depth chart at outside linebacker and will likely be inactive on game days.
With Butler being promoted to the active roster, there was an open practice squad spot. The team made the move to address their quarterback depth, signing quarterback Dennis Dixon.
Dixon (6-3, 215) joins the Cardinals after spending the preseason with the Buffalo Bills before he was a released on August 25. He originally entered the league with Pittsburgh as a fifth-round pick (156th overall) selection in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Oregon. Dixon played in four games with the Steelers between 2008-2011 (while Bruce Arians was offensive coordinator) and completed 35 of 59 passes for 402 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He then spent time on the Ravens practice squad for two seasons (2012-13) before playing on the Bills practice squad last season.
This was the best move the team could have made in terms of roster flexibility. Had they signed Ryan Lindley off the Chargers' practice squad, it would have required the team to keep him on the roster for at least three weeks. Their other options of guys who know the offensive system included old guys Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch.