As we draw nearer to the Cardinals second preseason game, the feeling of true football draws nearer too. The Cardinals will have their starters play for about 15 plays. Arians and Palmer want to see the team be productive with those snaps, meaning no three and outs.
After those guys though, we will see a lot of the backups and third stringers that played in the Hall of Fame Game. While the team has been hit hard with injuries this week, that leaves room for some of the guys who would other wise had very limited playing time.
Seth Cox already touched on a number of bubble players, but who are some of the other guys you should keep an eye on?
Nkemdiche finds his way on here for a second week in a row. He’s been strong all camp and followed that up with a strong showing in the Hall of Fame game. Nkemdiche has earned more and more reps with the first team offense, and could very well play himself into a starting role. Nkemdiche will likely get some first team reps this weekend as well, which will be the perfect opportunity to show he can dominate starters, not just backups.
Hogan is in a perfect opportunity to climb the depth chart. With the team releasing Larry Clark, and now the news that Carlton Agudosi needed help to get onto the cart to leave the field. Krishawn Hogan will have plenty of reps once the starters go to the bench. Hogan will also have the benefit of playing with better quarterback play as well. Hogan saw most of his snaps with rookie Trevor Knight under center, so he understandably was not given much of an opportunity to shine. Chad Williams is also not expected to play on Saturday with shin splints.
Another receiver cracks the list. Brown has been very good in camp, including a number of highlight plays the last few practices. Brown will see the field early, possibly even a few snaps with the starting team. Coming off an injury is always tough, but it does not appear to have fazed Brown. Brown will be an important weapon this season, so staying healthy, but also getting back into football shape will be key.
Williams will enter the game with the second team defense. He did not play last week because he was with the team for only a few days, not giving him enough time to learn the playbook. Williams will push both Brandon Williams and Justin Bethel, as he attempts to show the team he can still play.
And... Another Williams. Kerwynn cracks this list because he is now the team's primary return man. With TJ Logan out for the foreseeable future, Williams will get the first opportunity to field kicks and punts. If he can offer some semblance of a return game, Cardinal fans will be happy.
The Backup Quarterbacks:
You get two more names, for the price of one! Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton will be the key names to watch when the starters leave the field. Gabbert made a very impressive first impression in the Hall of Fame game. Leading the Cardinals on two touchdown drives, Gabbert will get another half of football to impress teammates, fans, and the coaching staff as well. Drew Stanton will simply be aiming to retain a hold on his job. If his play is anything like last seasons, and Gabbert can maintain even half his level of play from the first game, we could be looking at a depth chart swap.
Is there someone I missed? Be sure to comment about it.