The Arizona Cardinals may be .500 after two games for the first time since 2002, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some alterations to the two-deep this week.
With two players out with new injuries, others working their way back and some suspect offensive line play, there’s room for change.
Cornerback Eric Green’s groin injury is the most pressing concern. Green began the year on the bench but replaced David Macklin on the first team early in the season-opening win over the 49ers.
The extent of the injury was unknown Monday morning.
“It looked like a tear, but he was walking OK when I just saw him,” coach Dennis Green said. “I’m not sure he can play this week, but it might not be real long before he can play again.”
Matt Ware, who the Cardinals claimed off waivers from the Eagles prior to the season, replaced Green and seems the likeliest candidate to start in his place. The team views Robert Tate as a nickelback and Macklin was inactive for Sunday’s loss after starting 31 of his first 32 games as a Cardinal.
“He’s big, which is something that intrigues us,” Dennis Green said of Ware. “We’ll have to see exactly what it looks like this week. In his second week (with the team), he’s getting familiar with what we do. He looked solid when he played.”
Green said the team wouldn’t necessarily need another corner, since it typically dresses four per game.
Backup linebacker James Darling was also injured in Sunday’s loss, but the extent of the right calf injury was also unknown Monday morning.
Green said the injury “looks like it could be a couple weeks. It could be more, maybe not,” but Darling was pessimistic following Sunday’s game.
His playing time could fall to Karlos Dansby, who played well in his first action of the season after sitting out with a toe injury.
“I thought (Dansby) went at it hard,” Green said. “He played more plays than we wanted him to play simply because Darling couldn’t play. I think he’ll play a lot better this week with more practice time.”
The Cardinals offensive line will also likely see some shuffling after a lackluster day in Seattle.
Members of the line were flagged seven times (one was declined) including four times for false start, twice for holding and once for illegal formation. Guard Chris Liwienski was guilty of two false starts.
“We don’t like to make excuses,” said Reggie Wells, who played right tackle Sunday. “We need to go and battle. It wasn’t perfect at times. But as a unit we fought and that’s all we can do.”
Meanwhile, Kurt Warner was sacked five times and he and center Alex Stepanovich misfired on five snaps according to Green. Backup center Nick Leckey was seen warming up on the sideline late in Sunday's game, but the Cards never got the ball back.
“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Green said of replacing Stepanovich. “All those snaps were not bad snaps. They were fumbled snaps. Kurt just dropped some of them.”
Help is on the way as Oliver Ross, the expected starter at right tackle, is getting closer to returning to action.
Ross missed the entire preseason while recovering from knee surgery. He dressed Sunday but did not play.
“Hopefully, he’ll be ready to play this week,” Green said. “He practiced last week but it had been eight weeks since he’d been on the field playing. When you miss all of preseason on the line that’s tough, so you try to get all the practice time you can.”