Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 06, 2018 at 1:12 am.


–S Budda Baker (knee) was held out of practice on Wednesday for rest and precautionary reasons but hopes he’s able to play this Sunday at home against the Lions. “The trainers are doing everything they can to help me out,” Baker said. “Hopefully, I’ll be out there.”

–LB Deone Bucannon (chest) did not practice and figures to be questionable for Sunday’s game against Detroit.

–WR Chad Williams, who has missed the past four games with an ankle injury, should be able to return to the lineup this week, according to head coach Steve Wilks.

–WR Malachi Dupre, OL Denver Kirkland and DT Pasoni Tasini were signed to the practice squad.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: RB Chase Edmonds is coming off his best game as a pro, rushing five times for 53 yards and two touchdowns – his first two of the season. Edmonds, a rookie out of Fordham, also caught two passes for 13 yards in Arizona’s 20-17 victory at Green Bay. “It feels great, man,” he said. “Just to be able to walk out on the big stadium, a player like me from Fordham where we had like 4,000 people at our games, I was just going out there wishing, someday praying, that I could be on that big stage. And here I am there now.”

GAME PLAN: The Cardinals will try to keep their rushing attack going as their main weapon. It worked wonders at Lambeau Field as Arizona rushed for a season-high 182 yards. Detroit’s rush defense ranks in the middle of the pack, allowing 119.8 yards per game. Look for more of a two-back formation this week with David Johnson and rookie Chase Edmonds. It’s something new coordinator Byron Leftwich has been promising. With rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk on injured reserve, expect to see more targets for veteran Larry Fitzgerald, but someone else has to be able to step up among the wideouts from a group that includes J.J. Nelson and rookies Trent Sherfield and Jalen Tolliver.

Defensively, the Cardinals have been dynamic at getting to the quarterback and will be relying on their pass rush again this week against an inconsistent Matthew Stafford. The Cardinals’ pass defense ranks fourth in the league in passing yardage allowed per game (220.0). They’ll bring the heat with ends Chandler Jones and Markus Golden and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. Arizona hasn’t been producing enough turnovers during the second half of the season, something Jones and head coach Steve Wilks have said will be a priority the rest of the year.

–Cardinals DT Corey Peters vs. Lions LG Frank Ragnow. Peters quietly is having one of his best years as a pro and he might be able play a huge difference in this game while going against the Lions’ rookie guard. Peters has a boatload of tricks up his sleeve and figures to use a lot of them to try and confuse and get the best of Ragnow. If he does, it will further open the doors for pass rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.

–Cardinals RB Davis Johnson vs. Lions MLB Jarrad Davis. Johnson has just started to regain his touch and his explosiveness with more and more games working alongside new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Davis, meanwhile, has had a couple of big games against the Cardinals in the past and both of them involved putting the brakes on Johnson. It could be argued that the winner of this matchup will end up on the winning team come Sunday.