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2015 NFL preseason: Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster prediction after 2 games

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Making predictions with reactions to the second preseason game

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After two preseason games, we now have a little more of a picture of how players might contribute for the Arizona Cardinals. So now that we have two games in the book, let's see what the roster might look like when they make cuts down to 53.

Offense:

Quarterbacks (2): Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton

It appears Philip Sims has overtaken Logan Thomas in the QB3 battle, but I don't think either would get snatched up on waivers. With other positions to fill, I think the Cards go with two QBs and bring one of the two others back for the practice squad. Sims has that edge right now.

Running backs (5): Andre Ellington, David Johnson, Chris Johnson, Stepfan Taylor, Robert Hughes

The news of Chris Johnson missing one to two weeks could mean the team cuts ties. After all, Bruce Arians is not a fan of guys not practicing in camp. I still think, though, he has some leeway as a veteran. Plus, no one else really stood out. A dark horse could be Marion Grice, whose skillset they really like. We saw some flash from him.

Receivers (6): Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown, Brittan Golden

Golden still is the return guy, so I can't see Shipley overtaking him yet. We also have seen Golden on the field with starters. He apparently gets to be on the field when the offense goes only with one receiver.

Tight ends (4): Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah

Nothing changes here, but Momah looks like he is doing his best to be Rob Housler. Seventh round pick Gerald Christian is also doing a nice impression of Mr. Irrelevant.

Offensive line (9): Jared Veldheer, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Jonathan Cooper, Bradley Sowell, Ted Larsen, Earl Watford, Lyle Sendlein, D.J. Humphries (Bobby Massie begins on reserve/suspended list, which doesn't count against 53)

Somehow Larsen finds his way back on the roster, although his salary cap hit of more than $2 million might come into play. Sowell also manages to stick for another year.

Defense:

Defensive line (7): Frostee Rucker, Rodney Gunter, Calais Campbell, Cory Redding, Xavier Williams, Ed Stinson, Josh Mauro

Again Matt Shaughnessy doesn't make the final 53, which seems tough. He did get s couple of snaps as a starter in a particular package in the first quarter. It is hard to leave off Alameda Ta'amu because that leaves two rookies as the guys to play nose tackle, but the play of Josh Mauro is making it hard to leave him off the final roster

Inside linebacker (4): Kevin Minter, Sean Weatherspoon, Kenny Demens, Alani Fua

Fua's name came up again when Bruce Arians was asked about young players. Demens seems to have a hold on a position. Will the Cards keep Weatherspoon if he doesn't ever practice in pads in camp?

Outside linebacker (5): Alex Okafor, Lorenzo Alexander, LaMarr Woodley, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin

A recent comment makes it sound like Shaq Riddick will be available soon. That means putting him on injured reserve won't work. He probably last on the practice squad, but we are looking at two draft picks getting cut.

Cornerback (4): Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Cariel Brooks

The waiver wire still might be the way they go, but Brooks was a guy mentioned by Arians as a young player who flashed. Shaquille Richardson is a candidate here.

Safety (4): Rashad Johnson, Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson

Bucannon was a linebacker even in base, but I don't think anyone else at this position can find his way onto the roster. Harold Jones-Quartey is a practice squad candidate.

Specialists (3): Mike Leach (LS), Chandler Catanzaro (K), Drew Butler (P)

I think Butler might have the edge in game performance so far. This easily goes the other way.