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Larry Foote joins Arizona Cardinals coaching staff, could still play

Foote will have to decide his playing status by the first round of cuts in the preseason.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians revealed on Thursday veteran linebacker Larry Foote joined the coaching staff. He becomes the team's inside linebackers coach -- the position he played  in the league for 13 years.

However, it is possible Foote could still play. Arians said there were some issues to clear up with the league because there is "no such thing as a player-coach" in the NFL.

Arians called Foote "one of the smartest players I've ever been around," and he had immediate respect from his teammates in his one season playing in Arizona.

To allow him to join the staff, the team had to release Foote from the roster. He is already on hand in Indianapolis to help out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

According to Mike Jurecki, Foote will have to decide his playing future by the time the Cardinals make their roster cuts down from 90 players to 75. That comes after the team's third preseason game. Jurecki has previously mentioned how the Cardinals, had Foote decided to continue playing, would limit him in practice to protect him physically and keep him from wearing down like he did at the end of last season, when he played all but one snap until he missed the regular season finale with a knee injury.

Jurecki also tweeted Foote will also need surgery on his knee.

Foote as a coach should be great. He is well respected, he is smart and he knows how to produce and win, having been part of three Super Bowl teams.

With the Cardinals having only young inside linebackers on the roster -- Kevin Minter, Kenny Demens and Glenn Carson, all of whom have played no more than two seasons (Daryl Washington technically is not on the roster right now with his suspension) -- a coach like Foote is essential.