The Arizona Cardinals have ended their training camp Friday and held their final practice at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. On Sunday, the Cardinals will be playing against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 of the NFL preseason.
However, reports from the camp are not encouraging.
According to the official NFL web site, the injury bug has hit the Cardinals and this could spell disaster for their 2015 NFL campaign. The web site said, "Tight end Troy Niklas is sidelined again with a hamstring injury, his second since the beginning of camp. No timetable has been given on the second-year pro, leaving multiple question marks at tight end, with Jermaine Gresham's status still up in the air."
Also reported to be on the injury list is cornerback Jerraud Powers with an injured hamstring; nose tackle Xavier Williams with elbow and will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of his injury; LB Sean Weatherspoon with an injured hamstring; T Rob Crisp with knee injury; wide receiver Michael Floyd with hand injury; G Mike Iupati with knee injury; tight end Troy Niklas with hamstring injury, defensive end Ed Stinson with toe injury; and safeties Ross Weaver with an unknown injury.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians hoping that newly acquired running back Chris Johnson will be healthy enough to see action this week, especially against the Raiders. Johnson sustained a hamstring injury during practice last week.
The running back has yet to prove his mettle with his new NFL team on the field. But there are strong indications Johnson will make the final 53-man roster of the Cardinals because he was able to provide positive impression on his teammates during the training camp.
Once the doctors clear Johnson of his injury, he is expected to share the workload behind starter Andre Ellington, the report said.
Meanwhile, coach Arians revealed that quarterback Carson Palmer will see limited actions when the Cardinals take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Aug. 30.
"I don't need to see him play that long," Arians was quoted as saying by AZCentral.com. However, he said the majority of his team's starters would play a significant time in the first half of the game.
Arians added he would trim the current active roster of the Cardinals from 90 to 75 before finally revealing the final 53-man roster. However, he admitted that would be a difficult decision on naming the final cut.
He said, "It's never fun watching guys' dreams come to an end - maybe for a week, hopefully, and they get picked up by somebody else. Arians added the Cardinals will probably have a scrimmage partner for next year's training camp to further improve the team. "Oh, I'd love to," he said. "We just don't have the space here. We'd have to travel somewhere. We talked to two or three teams this year. It just didn't work out."
Meanwhile Palmer said the competition throughout camp has been great and many decisions will be made until the last day. The receiving corps battle is one of the most intriguing. Michael Floyd is currently recovering from surgery after dislocating three fingers in camp. No timetable has been set for his return, though Arians is hopeful it will be soon. The head coach told the assembled media Wednesday that he would not be surprised if Floyd played in the season opener against the Saints.
On the plus side, this allows less-proven players to log more reps. Jaron Brown and Brittan Golden are battling fifth-round pick J.J. Nelson for the fourth wideout spot. Nelson, who recorded the fastest 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine (4.28 seconds), impressed in his Week 2 start with this 57-yard grab.