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Cardinals’ Personnel Moves

NFL: International Series-Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In trying to cope with a number of injuries, most notably this week to RB David Johnson (back) and CB Tramaine Brock (shoulder), Steve Keim has been making some adroit roster moves.

Adding former Chargers’ CB Trevor Williams (pictured above) through waivers gives the Cardinals another young and talented cover man. Williams was making quite a splash in SD/LA starting 27 games while recording 110 tackles, 22 pass breakups and 3 interceptions before a knee injury sidelined him last year and a quad injury landed him on the IR this year.

By adding Williams, the Cardinals continue to bolster their secondary with young talent, assuming he is 100% ready to go.

Currently the Cardinals have been getting strong performances from 2nd round pick Byron Murphy and 3rd year CB Kevin Peterson (claimed off Rams)—-and if Tramaine Brock and Trevor Williams prove to be healthy and able to contribute, the current depth could allow the Cardinals to at least listen to trade offers for Patrick Peterson, who is scheduled to return from his 6 game suspension next week.

It likely would take a highly appealing offer for the Cardinals to trade Patrick Peterson—-but, if they can add a high draft pick or two and a quality starter in an area of need—-who knows?

The Cardinals are going to “monitor” David Johnson’s back issue this week—-and as a result, with only RBs Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster behind Johnson on the roster, the Cardinals will likely need to add another RB this week. With that in mind, Keim re-signed Justin Davis to the PS. Davis has good size (6-1, 198, USC) and 4.49 speed and last year he rushed the ball twice for the Rams for 19 yards (9.5 ave.). Davis is a shifty runner—-not really a power guy—-but he has a good nose for finding creases and scoring through them, as you can see here:

A few weeks ago the Cardinals worked out Alfred Morris, Zach Zenner and Thomas Rawls. Of these three, Zach Zenner and Thomas Rawls might be the best fits for the K-Raid. Here’s a highlight video of Zenner’s best plays with the Lions:

And here’s Thomas Rawls’ “Slippery” video:

One has to be excited about Keim’s recent additions to the defensive line. DT Jonathan Bullard took the romance out of the Bengals’ rushing attack last week and DT Zach Kerr made his physical presence felt on a few occasions in the middle.

This week the Cardinals worked out former Broncos’ 1st round DE Shane Ray. Obviously, Vance Joseph is very familiar with Ray and with Terrell Suggs ailing and with Chandler Jones and Brooks Reed under-performing, it might be a good idea to add Ray to the mix.

A player just released yesterday who could very well attract a waiver claim bid from the Cardinals is former Raiders’ WR Marcel Ateman. Ever since the Cardinals waived Kevin White and then lost 4th round pick Hakeem Butler to the IR (thumb), the Cardinals have been wanting to add a tall, physical receiver to their WR stable. Ateman (6-4, 216) was a standout at Oklahoma St. and is very well known by Kliff Kingsbury. If you recall, Ateman made some big plays versus the Cardinals last year when the Raiders beat the Cardinals in Glendale.

Now that the Cardinals are holding the 8th spot on the current waiver claim order, chances are good that one of the first 7 teams will claim Ateman. The Steelers would seem like a good bet, as Ateman would be reunited with his college QB, Mason Rudolph.

But, if not, as was the case this week with CB Trevor Williams, the Cardinals could be welcoming Ateman with open arms.

Give a ton of credit to punter Ryan Winslow for the job he did while Andy Lee was injured. Over the past two games, Winslow punted 6 times for a 48.5 average with 2 inside the opponents’ 20. Those numbers will likely mean he will be scooped up quickly by another team. Winslow deserves it. He was “such a fine sight to see.”

Give a ton of credit to WR/KR/PR Pharoh Cooper who graded 71.6 on offense this past week and 64.8 on STs in his nifty return to the Cardinals.

The players on the current roster who could be on the bubble:

RB D.J. Foster—-kept primarily for STs, but his 36.8 ST grade (PFF) is the worst on the team.

LB Brooks Reed—-44.1 on defense, 56.9 on STs

LB Joe Walker—-33.5 on defense, 64.0 on STs

CB Chris Jones—-in a numbers game on the verge of Patrick Peterson returning, Jones could be the odd man out, but his PFF grades are solid: 61.0 on defense and 63.5 on STs.