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NFL roster moves: Arizona Cardinals place Earl Watford on IR, promote D.J. Swearinger

Just some roster moving late in the season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There was a surprise roster move made by the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday. After reserve offensive lineman Earl Watford was a new addition to the injury report with a hand injury and then, not longer later, the team announced he was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

Replacing him on the roster is safety D.J. Swearinger, whom the Cardinals elevated from the practice squad.

Swearinger (5-10, 208) originally signed with the Cardinals practice squad on December 1. He was a second-round pick (57th overall) of the Texans in the 2013 NFL Draft out of South Carolina and played in all 32 games (22 starts) from 2013-14 with Houston. Swearinger was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay in May and played in seven games with the Buccaneers this season, totaling 11 tackles and a fumble recovery before being released on November 17. For his career, Swearinger has 109 tackles, three interceptions, 10 passes defensed, one sack, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 39 games.

Swearinger will wear jersey No. 36.

This move could be as much about the safety position as it does about the injury to Watford. Perhaps his injury would keep him out significant time, but he isn't likely to play anyway. He was inactive last game with Ted Larsen now starting and Jonathan Cooper backing him up. At tackle, Bradley Sowell can back up both sides and there is still rookie D.J. Humphries.

However, as it stands, every safety on the roster plays signficantly. Tony Jefferson, though, has been on the injury report with a hamstring issue. The team probably wants some depth behind him should there be an injury or if he cannot play.