coach Bruce Arians said “it’s hurting [Williams] extremely not to be on the field competing for a job, because those other guys are doing so well.”
Arians praised all three backs behind Williams at Monday's media availability, saying “they’re separating themselves from the rest of the pack and playing extremely good.”
We’re not sure what "pack" Arians is talking about since there are only five backs in camp: The three he mentioned and the two who are hurt – Williams and presumed starter
Arians also said it’s possible the Cardinals could keep four or five backs, depending on how they’re playing, so it’s hard to tell whether this was just another coach sending a message or if the threats are real. In any case, Arians outlined what he sees in each of the three backs, noting all have done very well in pass protection, which will be vital in the Cardinals’ vertical passing game.
“Stepfan is a power back that has really good vision. He likes to run between the tackles,” Arians said. “Andre is a slasher who has made some great cuts inside and outside, but doesn’t have quite the power Stepfan does.
“And Alfonso is a downhill runner who’s bringing it every time. As our safeties and linebackers have found out, he’s a pretty good wall to try to run through on pass protection.”
As for Williams, he insists he's not worried about losing his job.
"Once I'm on the field my play will speak for itself," said Williams, who will miss Friday's game in Green Bay after having a cortisone shot in the knee (not the tendon). "I know for a fact that I will be playing in the
game (Aug. 17)."
Mendenhall took another day off to rest the knee that's been experiencing tendinitis.
“It’s really calming down, and we don’t want to aggravate it at all today,” Arians said.
Arians also noted that
, who has a nerve issue in his leg, is progressing nicely and
(hamstring) is close to returning. None of the previously injured players was expected to practice Monday.
FIRST DEPTH CHART
Arians said not to make too much of the team's first depth chart, noting that linebacker
is listed third at his position, which won't last once he returns from his suspension. Nonetheless, the chart is out.
GREEN BAY PLANNING
Arians said the plan is to play the starters for about 15 plays in Friday’s preseason game at Green Bay.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “If one side or the other gets stuck playing into the second quarter, we’ll just see how it plays out -- how we’re playing.”