The Arizona Cardinals cut down their roster by 11 players on Monday. One more move has to happen by 1PM Tuesday, Arizona time. A couple of players who were expected by many to make the roster are gone. Knowing that, what could the 53-man roster look like at the end of this week? Here are my final projections for the final 53.
Quarterback (2): Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton
Based on the most recent comments by Bruce Arians, if he is looking for consistency as the deciding factor between Logan Thomas and Phillip Sims, maybe Sims is the guy, but I still don't think he will be on the 53. He will clear waivers and land on the practice squad.
Running back (5): Andre Ellington, David Johnson, Robert Hughes, Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor
When Williams returned kicks all game on Sunday, that opened my eyes. If he is to be the team's top kick returner, he will have to have a spot. I tweeted how that perhaps would bump the veteran Chris Johnson from the roster. I am not sure they would keep Taylor over Johnson, but if David Johnson looks good, Chris Johnson becomes redundant and is not specialized enough to be a back of the roster runner.
Wide receiver (6): Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown, Brittan Golden
I still don't think Jaxon Shipley has done enough for the coaching staff to put him in ahead of Golden, even though Golden has not been perfect by any means.
Tight end (4): Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah
The numbers game still keeps Gerald Christian out, even though Arians finally mentioned him for something.
Offensive line (9): Jared Veldheer, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Jonathan Cooper, Earl Watford, Bradley Sowell, D.J. Humphries, Ted Larsen, Lyle Sendlein
I assume Bobby Massie will be suspended, which means he won't count against the 53. But with two linemen out to start the year, that means extra linemen.
Defensive line (7): Frostee Rucker, Rodney Gunter, Calais Campbell, Cory Redding, Xavier Williams, Josh Mauro, Ed Stinson
The emergence of Mauro, being able to play defensive end and outside linebacker a little push Matt Shaughnessy off the roster. Alameda Ta'amu isn't versatile enough to make it.
Inside linebackers (4): Kevin Minter, Sean Weatherspoon, Kenny Demens, Alani Fua
Demens has been solid on defense and is a very good special teams player. Fua's upside and versatility earns him a spot over Gabe Martin.
Outside linebackers (5): Alex Okafor, LaMarr Woodley, Kareem Martin, Markus Golden, Shaq Riddick
Lorenzo Alexander's cut means Riddick can make the roster. Woodley had taken Alexanders reps in base sets.
Cornerback (3): Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel
Cariel Brooks might squeeze in here, but he might be more of a practice squad guy, especially if the Cards keep five safeties. It is very possible the team adds a veteran here off waivers.
Safeties (5): Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson, Chris Clemons
Because the Cardinals play four safeties on the field a lot, they do need a little depth. When the team goes with seven DBs, Clemons has been that guy. Mathieu's playing slot corner also mitigates the three cornerbacks.
Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro; Punter: Drew Butler; Long Snapper: Mike Leach
No surprises here anymore. They are the three specialists on the roster.