One question that there is with the Arizona Cardinals is how they will manage on the defensive line without Calais Campbell for the next one to three weeks. It is a big loss.
Think about this, before Campbell's injury, Denver rushed the ball seven times for four yards. Excluding two Peyton Manning kneeldowns, the Broncos rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.
Replacing him will be difficult.
Bruce Arians said mental errors were the reason why the run defense fell apart.
So how do they manage the absence?
During the Denver game, they gave a few looks. It was mostly Frostee Rucker and Tommy Kelly. To begin with, Kelly mostly played Campbell's side, but later on, Rucker switched.
Here is the breakdown for snaps in Campbell's spot after his injury:
Frostee Rucker: 24 snaps
Tommy Kelly: nine snaps
Kareem Martin: five snaps
Dan Williams: two snaps
Williams also played four snaps on the left side, each time with Rucker on the right side. Ed Stinson also came in for a pair of plays on the left side.
Arizona has positional flexibility. They have Rucker and Kelly, who can play on either side. Kareem Martin has learned only Campbell's side and Stinson has only played the left side -- where Darnell Dockett would play. Dan Williams, who typically plays nose tackle in base formations, can play either side. Alameda Ta'amu plays only nose, from what I have seen. Bruce Gaston is an unknown. I don't remember where he played in the preseason.
It appears it will be a lot of Rucker and Kelly, although, according to Bruce Arians, 60 plays for Kelly is too much.
Dan Williams played in nickel and dime sets against San Francisco and Arians was pleased with his play.
But Arians mentioned young players being in there for Campbell. That means Martin and Stinson, although that probably means Stinson on the left and Rucker/Kelly on the right.
"Each guy has to find a new role this week (on the defensive line)," Arians said on Wednesday. "Guys that did something good last week will try to continue it and move it on with it hopefully get better at it."
Will they be able to make up for the production that Campbell has? Probably not in the pass rush. Between Stinson and Williams, you have a pair of players known for their play against the run. Martin will need to play better. Arians said Martin had around six mental errors in the ball game in Denver against the run.
Martin is the guy they want to fill Campbell's shoes. We will see how much work he gets at defensive end. He has seen mostly pass rush assignments from the outside.
"His areas right now are being physical in the running game," Arians told the media. "He's got strength. He's been used primarily as a pass rusher and now he's going to have to be a run stopper. He's got the strength, but he's got to keep his pads down and be a more physical ball player against a very good offensive line."
Those comments lend me to believe he will get more work there to alleviate the workload for Kelly and Rucker.
Washington has a physical offensive line. If the defensive line can hold up this week, the task gets easier against Oakland the next, and then hopefully Campbell will return to his customary spot and play at a Pro Bowl level.