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Joshua, we hardly knew ya.
While in Minnesota to practice against the Vikings prior to the final preseason game, Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort donned his trading cap and pulled the trigger on three trades in a matter of hours.
He sent linebacker Isaiah Simmons to the Giants, tackle Josh Jones to the Texans and acquired quarterback Joshua Dobbs from the Browns.
Little did we know at the time that four days later, quarterback Colt McCoy would be released, beginning the preparation for having Dobbs start against the Washington Commanders 17 days later.
Dobbs did the best he could amid difficult circumstances, but the reality is there’s a reason he had been a backup since entering the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2017.
There were good moments and bad ones, with some of the better ones being when he ran with the football, which was something the Cardinals knew McCoy was not capable of doing.
Dobbs played all of the team’s 535 offensive snaps in the first eight games, but he won’t play any more after coincidentally being traded Tuesday to the Vikings after they lost Kirk Cousins Sunday to a torn Achilles.
The Cardinals will start either Kyler Murray or rookie Clayton Tune in Cleveland Sunday, but if it’s Tune, there seems little doubt Murray will take his first snaps since Dec. 12 on Nov. 12 at home against the Falcons.
Prior to Tuesday’s scheduled media availability with the team’s coordinators, coach Jonathan Gannon made an impromptu appearance in the media room and said, “Just want to thank Josh for his contributions. He came in, battled; he’s an ultimate pro (for) what he did for us and our team. Can’t thank him enough. Josh is excited for the opportunity to go to Minnesota and go play and we’re excited for him.”
There will be other roster shuffling this week as it’s determined whether Murray will be activated from reserve/physically unable to perform. Currently, Tune is the only quarterback on the active roster. A third quarterback will arrive and sources told PHNX it will be the return to the practice squad of Jeff Driskel, who was in that group until being released after Murray began practicing Oct. 18.
With running back Damien Williams (foot) being placed on practice-squad/injured Tuesday, it’s possible another back will be signed. James Conner is eligible to return from reserve/injured and begin practicing after the game against the Browns. Corey Clement and Tony Jones Jr. are currently on the practice squad.
Emari Demercado played 42 snaps (55 percent) against the Ravens, while Keaontay Ingram played 29 (38 percent) and Williams played three (four percent).
Guard Trystan Colon suffered a calf injury against Baltimore on the second snap of the game and guard/tackle Vitaliy Gurman was signed to the practice squad Tuesday. In addition to Williams, wide receiver Jeff Smith was placed on practice-squad/injured, while defensive lineman Jacob Slade and cornerback Quavian White were released from the practice squad. That leaves four openings, two of which are expected to be filled by Driskel and wide receiver Andre Baccellia, who was waived Monday after being signed from the practice squad Saturday because of the ankle injury that had Greg Dortch inactive Sunday. Baccellia played two snaps on offense against the Ravens and six on special teams.
–After Colon exited Sunday’s game, Daley played 75 snaps. Gannon said, “He did really well. I’ve got a very high opinion of Dennis. He’s played winning football for us. I know he got nicked in the Minnesota preseason game, but we brought him here for a reason. He can play multiple spots. He did a good job versus a really good front.”
–Rookie defensive back Garrett Williams had his snaps increase in his second game after being activated from reserve/non-football injury for the Seattle game. That week, he played 26 snaps (43 percent) and then started against the Ravens and was on the field for 36 snaps (55 percent).
The defensive performance against Baltimore was impressive and a big part was the play of Williams along with the safety tandem of Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson being together again.
Gannon said, “All three of them played winning football. It was good to see Garrett make strides from Week 1, the Seattle week that he was in playing. There were some things; mistakes or different adjustments he needed to make. That was his first game as a rookie (after) not being in training camp and the offseason program.
“He made big jumps with things that we said you’ve got to clean these things up and you’ve got to do this a little bit better. He’s very mindful, he’s very self-aware and it’s important to him. Those three back there; we played the coverages the right way, we made some plays out there and we were in the right spots for the most part. It’s a good trio back there of three really high-quality players and the more they play with each other the better they’ll get.”
–Cornerback Marco Wilson missed five snaps after being off the field for only two in the first seven games of the season.
“Just by design,” Gannon said. “With all of our guys through the week of practice and the full body of work, I wanted to see ‘Star’ (Starling Thomas V) in there a little bit, but Marco will be a big part of us moving forward.”
Thomas played all 60 snaps against Seattle with Antonio Hamilton Sr. inactive because of a groin injury and played only 17 (26 percent) against the Ravens. Hamilton played 54 snaps (83 percent).
Charting the snaps (snaps/percentage; starters in bold)
*Indicates player that did not play from scrimmage, but participated on special teams
OFFENSE (77 snaps, 18 players)
Quarterbacks: Joshua Dobbs (77/100)
Did not play: Clayton Tune
Reserve/physically unable to perform: Kyler Murray (practicing)
Running backs: Emari Demercado (42/55), Keaontay Ingram (29/38), Damien Williams (3/4; elevated from practice squad/injured)
Practice squad: Corey Clement, Tony Jones Jr.
Reserve/injured: James Conner (eligible to return after Week 9)
Wide receivers: Marquise Brown (73/95), Michael Wilson (58/88), Rondale Moore (55/71), Zach Pascal (11/14), Andre Baccellia (2/3)
Inactive: Greg Dortch (injured)
Practice squad: Davion Davis, Kaden Davis, Jeff Smith
Tight ends: Trey McBride (63/82), Geoff Swaim (27/35), Elijah Higgins (12/16)
Inactive: Blake Whiteheart
Practice squad: Bernhard Seikovits (international exemption)
Reserve/injured: TE Zach Ertz (eligible to return after Week 11)
Offensive linemen: LT D.J. Humphries (77/100), C Hjalte Froholdt (77/100), RG Will Hernandez (77/100), RT Paris Johnson Jr. (77/100), LG Dennis Daley (75/97), LG Trystan Colon (2/3/injured)
Did not play: T *Kelvin Beachum, C/G *Keith Ismael
Inactive: T Carter O’Donnell
Practice squad: Jackson Barton, Marquis Hayes, Hayden Howerton (injured)
Reserve/injured: G Elijah Wilkinson (eligible to return after Week 11)
DEFENSE (65 snaps, 21 players)
Defensive linemen: DE Jonathan Ledbetter (47/72), DE Dante Stills (32/49), NT Leki Fotu (31/48), Ben Stille (25/38, elevated from practice squad), DE Roy Lopez (21/32)
Inactive: DE Kevin Strong (injured)
Practice squad: Eric Banks, Phil Hoskins, Jacob Slade
Reserve/injured: DE L.J. Collier (eligible to return), DE Carlos Watkins (eligible to return)
Linebackers: ILB Kyzir White (65/100), ILB Josh Woods (45/69), OLB Zaven Collins (42/65), OLB Dennis Gardeck (30/46), OLB Victor Dimukeje (26/40), OLB BJ Ojulari (25/38), OLB Cameron Thomas (17/26), OLB Jesse Luketa (10/15)
Did not play: ILB *Owen Pappoe, ILB *Ezekiel Turner
Inactive: ILB Krys Barnes
Practice squad: ILB Tyreek Maddox-Williams
Defensive backs: S Budda Baker (65/100), S Jalen Thompson (64/98), CB Marco Wilson (59/91), CB Antonio Hamilton Sr. (54/83), S/CB Garrett Williams (36/55), CB Starling Thomas V (17/26), S Andre Chachere (3/5), S Joey Blount (1/2)
Did not play: CB *Bobby Price
Inactive: CB Kei’Trel Clark, S Qwuantrezz Knight
Practice squad: CB Quavian White, CB Divaad Wilson
SPECIAL TEAMS (28 snaps, 31 players)
LB Ezekiel Turner (26/93), CB Bobby Price (26/93), S Andre Chachere (23/82), LB Owen Pappoe (20/71), LB Victor Dimukeje (20/71), S Joey Blount (18/64), TE Elijah Higgins (15/54), LB Dennis Gardeck (14/50), TE Geoff Swaim (12/43), CB Antonio Hamilton Sr. (11/39), CB Starling Thomas V (10/36), NT Leki Fotu (8/29), K Matt Prater (7/25), WR/RS Rondale Moore (7/25), P Blake Gillikin (6/21), LS Aaron Brewer (6/21), WR/RS Andre Baccellia (6/21), WR Zach Pascal (6/21), DE Dante Stills (6/21), LB Josh Woods (6/21), LB BJ Ojulari (6/21), LB Cameron Thomas (6/21), RB Keaontay Ingram (4/14), C Hjalte Froholdt (2/7), T Paris Johnson Jr. (2/7), G Will Hernandez (2/7), T Kelvin Beachum (2/7), C/G Keith Ismael (2/7), TE Trey McBride (2/7), RB Damien Williams (1/4)
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