2014 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

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ 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