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Five Players With Something to Prove for the Arizona Cardinals

Five Arizona Cardinals that have to play well against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals take on the Houston Texans on Sunday in their third preseason game and likely the last preseason game for many of the veterans.

That means this could be the last time before September 11th that we see guys like Michael Floyd, David Johnson, and Carson Palmer play football.

That’s okay though, because those guys really don’t have much to play for heading into the final game.

However, there are a group of players that do have a lot to play for and they’ll be getting a lot of playing time this week and next week.

Five Arizona Cardinals players with the most to play for against the Houston Texans.

Cariel Brooks – A lot of people responded to my take of having Brooks on the 53 man roster with a raised eyebrow. Brooks has been the first corner off the bench in the preseason and has been getting reps with the first team defense as well. Yet, the Arizona Cardinals secondary is finally getting healthy, and Brooks will be pushed down the depth chart as that happens. He’s had some nice moments, but the defensive backfield is crowded in Arizona, can he find a way to make the final 53?

Tristan Okpaulago – With Alex Okafor testing out playing without a bicep tendon, the need for a third or fourth pass rusher is now present, someone waiting in the wings. If Kareem Martin has taken the steps that everyone has said, then it would be a fourth pass rusher, a luxury item if you will. Okpaulago is still trying to find his rhythm in the Arizona Cardinals defense, but he may be running out of time. There may be a practice squad option, but we’re not talking about that yet.

Darren Fells - The reality is Fells is not going to be fighting for a roster spot, but he is going to be fighting for playing time.  He's really not played well during the preseason and training camp.  Now, it is about getting back into a role where he is contributing, because right now, he looks like the fourth tight end.

Matthias Farley – Maybe the best player through the preseason, Farley’s battle is one that is difficult to figure out. Marqui Christian and Harlan Miller are either being groomed for a role later (Christian) or used on special teams now (Miller), so Farley has to find a way to have the Arizona Cardinals keep 10 defensive backs or beat out Mike Jenkins and Cariel Brooks for that last spot. I feel like Farley’s play deserves a spot, but he also is at a very crowded safety position.

Cole Toner – The lone offensive representative on this list, I think Toner has had a nice camp, but again the numbers game. Do they keep more than Earl Watford as a back up tackle? Can they justify keeping Toner if they already have Boehm? What about alleged coaches favorite Antoine McClain? Toner has played well, and took the reps at left guard with Mike Iupati out this week. Let’s see what happens this week.

Who is the most under the microscope this Sunday for you?