The Arizona Cardinals host the Kansas City Chiefs in a Week One showdown today! Here are some last-minute injury updates/notes for the game.
It’s Game Day! The Arizona Cardinals take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale today. A very bizarre offseason, training camp, and preseason all comes to a close today as the regular season begins. Cardinals fans have been worried in recent days about a growing number of players on the injury report for this game. There have been a couple of updates on these injuries that are worth mentioning before game kickoff.
It’s also worth addressing what should be obvious but for some reason doesn’t seem to be: the Cardinals have a good chance to win this game. Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown’s connection making its NFL debut is reason enough to feel pretty good about this game. The Chiefs are a formidable opponent, but I’m disappointed in what I’m seeing from a number of Cardinals fans on social media who think the game is already over.
Rondale Moore will not play in today’s game. After it had appeared earlier in the week that he might be a go, it came out later that he’s going to have an MRI on his hamstring. This is obviously a bummer because of the role the Cardinals are expecting him to fulfill in this game, but it also isn’t terribly surprising given the struggles he’s having with the hamstring throughout the preseason and training camp.
Moore doesn’t figure to be out too long with this nagging hamstring injury. The fact that he was just about a go before ruled out is probably not the worst sign for his playing status in the coming weeks. For today, expect the wide receiving core to be fine without him. The Chiefs’ defense has struggled in recent memory on defense, including in the secondary. Brown and A.J. Green should be more than capable of handling that secondary without him.
It appears that Zach Ertz is going to be ready to go today for the Cardinals. This is welcome news because it actually appeared that the odds were shifting against his playing in this game against the Chiefs. It’s also welcome because his presence will give another look for Murray against the Chiefs’ defense. The tight end position is one of the strongest for the Cardinals, especially if Ertz, Maxx Williams, and Trey McBride all get playing time.
Ertz was one of Murray’s favorite targets last season, who came to Arizona mid-season from Philadelphia after Williams went down with injury. Ertz’s presence today will be needed even more than usual today without Moore. Look for him to make an impact across the middle of the Chiefs defense, which figures to be a weak spot for the team. I like this matchup as a favorable one for the Murray-Ertz connection.
J.J. Watt / Markus Golden
J.J. Watt will likely not be playing today for the Cardinals. Watt continues to be bitten by the injury bug in his recent career. A calf injury looks to be keeping the all-time great on the sidelines to start the season. It’ll be up to Zach Allen to fulfill his potential on the Cardinals defensive line. It’s unclear at this point what the extent of Watt’s issue is, but recent history suggests it wouldn’t be unusual if the team had to prepare to be without him for a while.
Fresh off his one-year contract extension, it appears Markus Golden is going to be able to play today for the Cardinals. His pass rush is going to be needed off the edge big time in this game, especially with Watt on the sidelines. Golden also provides some veteran experience in this game to a very young defensive set. He’ll be looking to make his presence felt early and often today against the Chiefs’ offensive line.