2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Young Cardinals have big roles in Arizona's win

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 20:20

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals got contributions from several places in their first victory of the season.

A sixth-round pick, a receiver who might as well be a rookie, a couple of undrafted rookies and a high-profile player considered a big risk when drafted came through for the Cardinals in a 25-21 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Age doesn't figure into the equation for coach Bruce Arians.

``As long as a guy shows me he can play football, we'll play him,'' Arians said on Monday.

No. 1 on that list of young contributors is running back Andre Ellington, a sixth-round pick from Clemson who caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer and ran 16 yards to kick-start the deciding touchdown drive.

Then there's Kerry Taylor, the former Arizona State receiver who had knocked around on practice squads for five teams and was a late cut by Arizona in the preseason.

He was signed to the Cardinals practice squad, then promoted to the active roster Saturday because Larry Fitzgerald had an ailing hamstring.

When Fitzgerald couldn't go any longer, Taylor came in to make three late catches for 40 yards.

Jaron Brown and Tony Jefferson were the only undrafted rookies to make the Cardinals roster.

Brown, a wide receiver and Clemson teammate of Ellington, beat out Taylor for the fourth receiver spot and played more and more as Sunday's game went on and it became apparent that Fitzgerald was struggling. Brown caught just one pass for 11 yards, but was in on 13 plays on offense and 17 plays on special teams.

Jefferson, who gambled on leaving Oklahoma only to find himself undrafted, had an uphill battle to make the Arizona roster but did so by his play in the preseason.

He has so impressed the coaching staff that defensive coordinator Todd Bolles used him in 81 percent of the defensive plays Sunday, allowing Yeremiah Bell to play more at linebacker. Jefferson had three tackles, one for a loss.

Then there's Tyrann Mathieu.

Many questioned the wisdom of Arizona taking the former LSU star in the third round. Mathieu had been kicked off the team and out of school for marijuana-related problems and had been out of football last year. But he has been dazzling at times this season.

In last week's loss at St. Louis, Mathieu raced out of nowhere to poke the ball away from the Rams' Jared Cook at the 1-yard line, saving a touchdown.

On Sunday, when Detroit was faced with a fourth-and-3 at its 46 with a little over a minute to play, Matthew Stafford threw short to Nate Burleson and Mathieu wrapped him up and dropped him a yard shy of the first down.

Game Arizona.

``I kind of knew it was coming to me,'' Mathieu said.

Ellington has gained an increasing role because of his speed. The touchdown catch was the same play that had failed to connect against the Rams.

``It means a lot for the coaches to have that trust in me early on in my career,'' Ellington said. ``I'm glad I had the opportunity to just go out there and show them that I deserve that.''

Taylor had traveled the country to get that chance, with practice squad stops in Green Bay, New England (twice), San Francisco and Minnesota.

``This is the first time I've ever gotten a real opportunity,'' he said after Monday's team meetings. ``I came to a place here where I had a chance to make the roster, didn't at first, but now I'm up. I got a chance to go on the field and show what I can do in a real live game.''

Notes: Arians said he doesn't want Fitzgerald's injury to be a lingering thing and it will depend on what happens this week whether he will be available Sunday at New Orleans. ... Tight end Rob Housler, who missed the first two games with a high ankle sprain, said he will try to practice on Wednesday. ... The Cardinals will not return to Arizona after the Saints game, but will go to Bradenton, Fla., to practice next week before they play at Tampa Bay on Sept. 29.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Arian FosterAug 4 02:53p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) will undergo surgery on his injured groin. He should return during the season, however.

Arian FosterAug 4 02:23p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) may need surgery on his injured groin.

Arian FosterAug 4 01:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) suffered a groin injury during the team's first fully padded practice Monday, Aug. 3, according to sources.

Terrance WestAug 4 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West appears to be on thin ice because of maturity issues, and his conditioning is a question, according to ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi.

Doug MartinAug 3 09:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin was confirmed as the team's lead back Monday, Aug. 3, by head coach Lovie Smith. 'We talked about being able to establish the [ More ]

L. WashingtonAug 3 07:22p

Free-agent WR L'Damian Washington signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Aug. 3.

Senquez GolsonAug 3 07:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Senquez Golson (shoulder) told ESPN Monday, Aug. 3, he might need surgery on an injured shoulder, and he will find out in the next few days. [ More ]

Ace SandersAug 3 07:02p

Free-agent WR Ace Sanders (Jaguars) was suspended 10 games by the NFL Monday, Aug. 3, for a second violation of the league's drug policy.

Stephen HillAug 3 05:52p

Free-agent WR Stephen Hill (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Monday, Aug. 3, after being waived/injured Sunday, Aug. 2.

Michael EgnewAug 3 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Michael Egnew was released Monday, Aug. 3.

Kevin ConeAug 3 05:42p

Cleveland Browns WR Kevin Cone was waived Monday, Aug. 3.

Timothy FlandersAug 3 05:22p

Free-agent RB Timothy Flanders (Saints) signed with the Cleveland Browns Monday, Aug. 3.

Jalen ParmeleAug 3 04:52p

Free-agent RB Jalen Parmele (Cardinals) was signed by the Cleveland Browns Monday, Aug. 3.

Kyle WilliamsAug 3 04:42p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 3. WR Corbin Louks was subsequently signed.

Matt ElamAug 3 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Baltimore Ravens FS Matt Elam (biceps) will have surgery on his torn biceps soon and will officially be out for the season.

Michael JohnsonAug 3 02:32p

Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson (knee) will be out four weeks with a grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain.

Matt ElamAug 3 11:12a

Baltimore Ravens FS Matt Elam (arm) will likely miss the entire 2015 season with a torn biceps muscle suffered during a full-contact practice Sunday, Aug. 2.

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group