TEMPE (AP) – Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is glad he only has one roster cut down day this year.
He said that the final cut is the worst day of the year.
“It really could be equated to a death in the family sometimes,” Arians said after practice Tuesday. “You get so close to these guys, you work so hard with them, and you know it’s a dream that hopefully is not ending, it may continue with another team. But a lot of them, it’s ending.”
Veteran wide receiver Aaron Dobson is new to the Cardinals this year but has spent three seasons in the NFL, though he hasn’t appeared in a game since 2015 with New England.
He’s missed two preseason games with a hamstring injury and had only one catch in last Saturday’s game so Thursday’s preseason finale in Denver looks critical for Dobson’s roster chances.
“I’m not nervous at all. I’ve been around. I’m confident in my play so I can just go out there and do what I need to do,” Dobson said. “It’s all competition. That’s the funnest thing about the game, and we all come out here and compete with each other and we’ll see how it ends up next week.”
In years past, roster cuts were made once before the last preseason game and the final cuts were made after that game. Now the roster will be trimmed to 53 on a single day this weekend.
“I love the new rule,” said Arians, who told a story of a final preseason game a few years ago when he lost a tight end due to injury and played the rest of the game using four wide receivers.
Arians said he will speak personally with any players who are being released if they have been with the organization for some time.
Arians also said he plans to start Blaine Gabbert at quarterback against Denver then switch to rookie Trevor Knight after the first quarter. A decision at punter will come down to Thursday’s game performances for Matt Wile, who played three games for Arizona last season, and Richie Leone.
On the Cover
Cardinals running back David Johnson is pictured on the cover of one of four regional issues of Sports Illustrated this week.
“It was pretty cool,” Johnson said. “I hope to get a copy real soon.”
Teammate Chris Johnson was featured on the magazine’s cover in August 2010, while with the Tennessee Titans. He said he likes his teammate’s photo better than his.
“That’s kind of like a dream,” Chris Johnson said. “It’s a big deal. That’s a great accomplishment.”