The Arizona Cardinals downgraded kicker Zane Gonzalez to out for this Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. In a corresponding move, they elevated Mike Nugent from their practice squad.
K Zane Gonzalez (back) has been downgraded to OUT for Sunday’s game vs. the Giants.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 12, 2020
Nugent joined the Cardinals’ practice squad in mid-September. The 15-year veteran previously kicked for Cardinals in 2009. He has also kicked for the Jets (2005-08), Bengals (2010-16), Bears (2017), Raiders (2018), and Patriots (2019).
He has made 258-of-319 (80.9%) field goals in his NFL career. Though he struggled last season converting only 5-of-8 (62.5%) of his field goals with the Patriots, he has been a respectable kicker for over a decade.
This is a good opportunity for the Cardinals to see what they have in this veteran kicker, who has not played in an NFL game since last year. Especially with Gonzalez’s struggles, Nugent could be battling for a permanent spot on the roster despite Steve Keim’s affirmation that Zane is their kicker moving forward.
Cardinals get their top defensive lineman back
In other news today, the Cardinals activated starting defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and backup cornerback Kevin Peterson off injury reserve while promoting tight end Seth DeValve from the practice squad. They released defensive tackle Trevon Coley and placed cornerback Jonathan Joseph on injury reserve with a neck injury.
The defensive line has struggled to apply consistent pass rush and Phillips’ return should help. Though he is not having the kind of season the Cardinals were expecting out of him, he does has two sacks and two forced fumbles while earning a 69.6 PFF pass rush grade.
A rested and possibly rejuvenated Phillips could give the Cardinals a much-needed boost on the defense, especially with Corey Peters out for the season.