The Cardinals offensive line performed very well over the last five weeks. Now, they will be getting their top backup interior offensive lineman back from injury.
Offensive guard Max Garcia has been elevated from the physically-unable-to-perform list to the active roster. In corresponding moves, they placed defensive tackle Clinton McDonald on injury reserve and released linebacker Zach Brown.
McDonald suffered a neck injury in the loss to the 49ers, while Brown was just signed last week. Brown’s release leaves the Cardinals with an open roster spot.
Garcia began the season on PUP, recovering from an ACL tear he sustained in a practice last season. Last week, the Cardinals shifted Justin Pugh over to right tackle and started Mason Cole at left guard after Justin Murray was ruled out with a knee injury. Pugh and Cole both performed exceptionally well, earning PFF overall grades of 79.4 and 68.1 respectively.
Last week’s offensive line performance was arguably their best of the season. The return of Garcia, who started in 41 of 57 games in four seasons in the NFL, would bolster the Cardinals’ offensive line depth significantly considering the unknown extent of Murray’s injury.
Even if Justin Murray recovers from his injury, there is no guarantee he will be getting his starting job back. It is very possible for Cole and Pugh to resume their roles as the Cardinals’ starting guard and tackle respectively.