TEMPE, Ariz. – Cardinals center Rich Ohrnberger is comfortable with quarterback Ryan Lindley’s hands between his legs:
“Always have been,” Ohrnberger said. “I accept all comers when it comes to that.”
With starter and offensive co-captain Lyle Sendlein out for the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament suffered Sunday against the Rams, Ohrnberger is expected to start this week when the Cardinals face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
If you’re keeping track at home, Sendlein’s injury brings the total to seven vital Arizona players who will miss five games or more this season due to injuries. The others are left tackle Levi Brown (16 games), running back Ryan Williams (11 games), tight end Todd Heap (nine games and counting), running back Beanie Wells (seven games), OLB O’Brien Schofield (seven games) and QB Kevin Kolb (five games and counting).
It’s gotten so depressing the Cards could use some comic relief. That’s where Ohrnberger comes in. The Penn State product has played in 11 games for the Cardinals this season, and 16 in his three-year career. But he is better known for his sense of humor, which set an early tone at training camp and made him an instant favorite of his fellow linemates.
“There’s an on and off switch,” he said. “It’s been one of those seasons. We’re just trying to keep the attitude positive.”
As backups, Ohrnberger and Lindley have worked together plenty in practice, but doing it in a game is no joke. Neither is replacing Sendlein, who had started 81 straight games.
“You’re always going to take a blow when you lose a player that’s played that long for you and consistently for you,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The communication part of it is what he does so well.
“At least Rich has been getting some reps in practice with the second team and he’s played some this year, so hopefully the transition will be smooth enough.”
The world has a way of reminding you to count your blessings – a way of telling you, ‘things could be worse.’
Cardinals fans: We present the New York Jets.
How bad have things become for New York’s other team? Superfan Ed Anzalone — better known as Fireman Ed, or the guy who cursed us with that annoying J-E-T-S chant – stepped down as the club’s unofficial mascot at halftime of the Patriots’ Thanksgiving Day massacre of the Jets.
“We have had much worse teams than this and I never left before. I pride myself in that, because I am not a quitter,” Anzalone told New York Metro. “I decided to leave because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.”
The problem for Anzalone seems to be his choice of wardrobe. He’s been wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey to games this year, which has made him a pin cushion for verbal assault. That brings us to the central issue with the Jets. Sure, there have been issues on defense, issues with the run game, dropped passes — all the things that normally accompany horrid teams — plus Rex Ryan’s mouth. But quarterback play has been the linchpin of the Jets’ disappointing season.
We know Cardinals fans are familiar with that sort of thing, but think about this: Both Jets QBs, Sanchez and Tim Tebow, were first-round picks. At least the Arizona faithful can attribute their team’s troubles to an injury-prone second-round pick, an inaccurate fifth-round pick and a green sixth-round pick.
So there’s that. Count those blessings, Cardinal fans. ‘Tis the season.
For the Cardinals: WR Andre Roberts (ankle) did not practice.
QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), DE Calais Campbell (calf), WR Early Doucet (ribs), RBs Beanie Wells (knee), William Powell (shoulder), S Justin Bethel (shoulder) and WR LaRon Byrd (head) were limited.
For the Jets: CB Aaron Berry (quad) and WR Clyde Gates (concussion) did not practice.
WR Jeremy Kerley (heel/illness/hamstring), NT Sione Pouha (back), WR Chaz Schilens (concussion/hip), LB Bart Scott (toe) and QB Tim Tebow (rubs) were limited.