With the first week of preseason games wrapped up, NFL teams have until Tuesday, August 17 at 4 p.m. ET to trim their roster down to 85.
Today to get to that number, the Arizona Cardinals released Aleva Hifo, Darius Kilgo, Ito Smith, and JoJo Ward.
We have activated RB James Conner, TE Darrell Daniels, DL Leki Fotu and S Charles Washington from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 16, 2021
We have also released WR Aleva Hifo, DL Darius Kilgo, RB Ito Smith and WR JoJo Ward.
Nose tackle Darius Kilgo played 12 snaps and recorded only one tackle with a lowest Pro Football Focus grade (32.6) on the Cardinals’ defense. Running back Ito Smith played only six total offensive snaps in the preseason opener and finished with two carries for six yards.
The JoJo Ward release came as a surprise considering his impressiveness during training camp. He finished the preseason game with two catches for 12 yards, had one drop, and blocked respectably. Wide receiver Aleva Hifo did not play.
One can only assume Greg Dortch’s emergence and Andre Baccellia’s display of speed in the opener made the other two receivers expendable. The same can be said about Tavien Feaster and David Parry winning their battles over Ito Smith and Darius Kilgo respectfully.
Technically the Cardinals were already at 85 by having five players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and Bernhard Seikovits having a roster exemption.
With James Conner, Darrell Daniels, Leki Fotu, and Charles Washington returning from the list, the four releases were required to make space for them on the roster.
The only player that remains on the COVID-19 list is 2019 second-round pick Andy Isabella. When he returns, the Cardinals will need to cut one more player.