Cardinals rookie Logan dislocates wrist, out 12 weeks
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Rookie T.J. Logan, a speedster who had been expected to return kicks and punts for the Arizona Cardinals, fractured his wrist in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game against Dallas.
Coach Bruce Arians said Saturday that Logan will undergo surgery and is expected to be sidelined for 12 weeks.
It’s a blow to the Cardinals, who had been impressed with Logan’s electric returns in the game and in workouts.
He was a fifth-round draft pick out of North Carolina. If he can return in 12 weeks, that would be the team’s bye week following Arizona’s game against the Los Angeles Rams in London. So there’s a chance he could be back for the Nov. 5 game at San Francisco.
In the meantime, Arians said several players will audition for kick and punt return duties.
The Cardinals held their first workout since Thursday night’s 20-18 loss to Dallas, practicing outdoors in the morning heat while crews cleaned out University of Phoenix Stadium from Friday night’s Metallica concert.
The team will move back inside the air conditioned comfort of the stadium for workouts starting on Sunday.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Logan ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest of any running back.
“It was a blow to him,” Arians said of the injury. “He was just about to make a nice role for himself. He, obviously, looked electric on the kick returns and the punt returns so somebody else is just going to have to step up and do it.”
Logan will go on injured reserve designated for possible return.
Arians said Kerwyn Williams will get the first shot at the return role, with rookies Chad Williams and Rudy Ford also getting a look. John Brown, slowed by a quadriceps injury, is another possibility.
“I forgot about John,” Arians said. “I keep forgetting him because he ain’t practicing.”
Chad Williams said he had some experience fielding punts at Grambling State.
“I can field them and catch them,” he said. “You have to look it in. I’ve been practicing kickoffs, too.”
Kerwyn Williams is locked in a tough battle at running back with wide-open competition behind David Johnson.
“It’s real tough,” Arians said. “Everybody is explosive. They all pass-block well. It’s a good battle. It’s going to be who stays healthy.”
It’s four players — Kerwyn Williams, Andre Ellington, Elijhaa Penny and Chris Johnson — for three spots at running back. Arians said Chris Johnson has to earn a spot, despite his long NFL pedigree that includes the past two seasons with Arizona.
“Nothing is guaranteed,” Arians said.
Arians praised the performance of quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 185 yards in his two quarters of play, and two of his incompletions were dropped by receivers. But he remains a longshot to overtake Drew Stanton as Carson Palmer’s backup, Arians said.
“There’s a chance,” the coach said, “but it’s a long way to go. Drew just knows the offense so well.”
One player who has been consistently praised by Arians in workouts and in the game is defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, last year’s first-round draft pick who was an impact player when he was on the field on Thursday night.
“Nkemdiche was very disruptive,” Arians said.
Nkemdiche said he’s trying to concentrate on the details of his technique and doesn’t worry about the big picture.
“Preparation is the key,” he said. “It’s really paying attention to detail, making strides in the right direction and being a good student of the game.”
Arians said the starters, who didn’t play at all against Dallas, will have about 15 plays when Arizona is home against Oakland on Saturday night.
NOTES: The Cardinals waived injured ILB Gabe Martin (Achilles) and WR Larry Clark and signed LB Josh Byrnes and LB Terence Waugh.