Cardinals lose OT Veldheer for rest of season to broken ankle
TEMPE, Ariz. — Add another name to the long list of Arizona Cardinals players lost for the season due to injury.
Starting left tackle Jared Veldheer has a cracked ankle and will go on injured reserve, coach Bruce Arians said Monday.
Veldheer was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 12-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Arians also said starting right guard Earl Watford has a high ankle sprain and will miss some time.
Rookie Will Holden –a fifth-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt — will move into the left tackle spot and Evan Boehm will go back to right guard, a job he lost to Watford.
“That’s the plan right now,” Arians said. “We’ll probably have to make a roster move or two, but we’ll probably start there and see what else is available.”
In related moves, the Cardinals promoted tackle/guard Vinston Painter from the practice squad and released wide receiver Carlton Agudosi and long snapper Justin Drescher.
Veldheer joins tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and guard Mike Iupati (triceps) as Arizona starting offensive linemen to go down with season-ending injuries.
In all, the Cardinals have 14 players on injured reserve. Among the most notable are running back David Johnson, who broke his left wrist in the season opener, and quarterback Carson Palmer, who broke his left arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London in Week 7.
“You just have to laugh and go on,” Arians said. “What’s next, and get a game plan that these guys can succeed at and go win a game.”
He said the Veldheer injury came as a surprise on Monday. The big tackle had been bothered by an arm injury in practice last week.
“I was worried about his arm,” Arians said. “After the game, he said, ‘My arm feels great. I think I’m good, but I might have sprained my ankle,’ and it was fractured.”
Veldheer was moved to right tackle this season to make room for Humphries on the left side. But when Humphries was hurt, Veldheer switched back to his usual spot at left tackle.
The line blocked well in the run game against Tennessee (136 yards rushing) but quarterback Blaine Gabbert was sacked eight times, most of any Cardinals quarterback this season.
Arizona remains without running back Adrian Peterson (neck) and wide receiver John Brown (turf toe).
“John’s going to, again, try it this week,” Arians said. “It didn’t work too good last week. He got real sore after Wednesday’s practice.”
Arians did not sound optimistic about Peterson, who hasn’t practiced in two weeks and has missed the last two games.
“He and the doctors are still talking,” the coach said.
Arians said outside linebacker Gabe Martin “pulled a hamstring pretty bad. He’ll be lost for a while.”
Defensive linemen Corey Peters and Josh Mauro should be back from ankle injuries this week, Arians said. They join a defense that had perhaps its best game of the season against Tennessee, allowing 204 total yards.
The Titans managed just 65 yards rushing, 10 in the second half. In the second half, quarterback Marcus Mariota was 6 of 16 for 60 yards and was intercepted twice — by Tramon Williams and Josh Bynes. Overall, Mariota was 16 of 31 for 159 yards with no touchdowns and a career-worst 39.6 passer rating.
Arizona outside linebacker Chandler Jones had a sack, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Jones leads the NFL this season with 14 sacks, 24 tackles for loss and 27 quarterback hits.
The Cardinals (6-7) will leave Friday for Sunday’s game at Washington (5-8).