Arizona Cardinals offensive line facing huge challenge

Its just five games into the season and the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals has already been bitten by the injury bug

The Arizona Cardinals managed to stay healthy throughout the preseason and the early part of the regular season. One-third into the year that is no longer the case.

The offensive line is the area of the team that has taken the biggest hit. Both pieces of what may be the best run-blocking guard tandem in the NFL have gone down.

The news on Evan Mathis is not good. The warrior has played through injury the whole season but his ankle has finally failed him. He’s been placed on injured reserve and is eligible to return after eight weeks, but that’s not a certainty.

Mike Iupati’s ankle injury is the other punch to the gut of the offensive line. There’s been no new update on the Samoan native. The running game is bound to suffer if he’s out for an extended period of time.

The club plucked Ulrick John from the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad to help address the situation. The Indianapolis Colts drafted John in the seventh round of the 2014 draft.

If the Cards still have Super Bowl aspirations, you’d think they would want someone with more experience. John has appeared in just two regular season games in his career.

It wasn’t long ago that the club worked out 28-year old guard Vlad Ducasse, at the time updating their emergency list. He’s alot more experienced than John.

Their are other experienced guards presently available, including Louis Vasquez, Amini Silatolu, Geoff Schwartz and old friend Paul Fanaika.

For now, rookie John Wetzel will fill in for Iupati and Earl Watford will replace Mathis. They both received high grades after being forced into action this past Thursday night. Whether they can have continued success remains to be seen with stiffer competition on the horizon.

This article originally appeared on