Peterson an intriguing option as Cardinals' 4th receiver

Cards would prefer another player claim fourth wide receiver spot, but it will be hard to match Peterson's potential.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One of the more popular topics at training camp this season has been the fourth wide receiver slot, specifically, who will win it.

Jaron Brown and Charles Hawkins flashed some potential Friday against Green Bay, but coach Bruce Arians still viewed their games as 50-50 performances with too many mistakes. Former Arizona State wideout Kerry Taylor had climbed to the No. 4 spot before an injury slowed his progress. It’s even possible the No. 4 guy isn’t in camp yet, but could arrive after other teams make their cuts.

But is it possible the Cardinals have already settled on their fourth wide receiver?

While discussing the team’s receiving corps on Tuesday, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin had this to say.

“We have three great ones and now all of the sudden, with the addition of Patrick (Peterson), it’s going to be hard for the defense to key in on one guy.”

When asked specifically, and somewhat in jest, if Peterson is the team’s fourth receiver, Goodwin smiled. 

“He’s in there – he’s in the mix,” he said. “He’s going to get some snaps. But as far as the fourth wide receiver, we’ll still trying to develop some young guys, too.”

It’s no secret that the Cardinals plan to use Peterson as an offensive weapon

“How big that package (will) continue to grow? It’s probably already up into the 15-play range,” Arians said recently, noting that if Peterson weren’t playing defense he could be a top receiver in the league. 

There is clearly danger in relying on your starting cornerback and punt returner to fill such a role, and having another player claim that spot would still be preferable, but Peterson’s otherworldly abilities are always a fun topic. And in this case, there is some fire to accompany the smoke.