Friday will mark the two-thirds point of the NFL Preseason as the Arizona Cardinals host the Kansas City Chiefs at home. The game itself may not be significant, but for the players trying to stay on the squad, every snap is vital to their immediate career.
With all that in mind, once again, here are five players to watch for as they pursue a spot on the Cardinals’ main roster.
WR Andre Baccellia
JoJo Ward is gone, which leaves this former Washington Husky in a key position to prove himself again. Originally signed by Kansas City as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Baccellia bounced to New England before arriving in Glendale.
He only caught two passes for 14 yards in the win against Dallas on August 13. But the word around training camp is that he’s been making most of his reps since the Dallas win. If that is to be believed, then nothing short of a solid impression is what Baccellia must have Friday. With Andy Isabella still on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the 24-year-old’s depth chart could be one spot higher by the end of the game.
CB Jace Whittaker
While rookie Marco Wilson got a fair amount of praise for his efforts against Dallas, credit is also due towards the former Arizona Wildcat. Whittaker made five total tackles (three solo) and his effort was visible during the game.
The team’s official depth chart has Whittaker right behind Wilson, so it’s going to take a little more than just five tackles to get the attention of the staff. Even if Whittaker can’t separate himself from Wilson, it never hurts to have this much depth to the cornerback position.
C Max Garcia
Garcia’s been around the offensive line during his career. This season, however, he is expected to be a center. He was a fourth-round pick out of Florida back in 2015, winning Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos as a rookie. Now he’s likely going to be the back-up to Rodney Hudson should the time come.
Barring an underwhelming performance, Garcia should continue to lock himself in as Arizona’s number two center. The offensive line at times looked a bit rushed during the second half of the Dallas win. When Garcia’s on the field, he’ll need as much time as he can get. A lot is banking on the starting linemen being healthy. If Hudson has to step out, Garcia needs to be that reliable second man.
WR Greg Dortch
Dortch is the third undrafted player here besides Baccellia and Whittaker. The 5-foot-7 wide receiver made his two catches for 27 yards against Dallas count. Including a major catch with a defender in a better position to bat the pass down late in the fourth quarter. Dortch’s timely play helped Arizona tie and eventually win the game.
His presence in the punt return shows potential, but with the trend he set last Friday, he’s definitely forcing his way up the receiver depth chart. The Cardinals list Dortch as a fourth-stringer for the time being. Playing behind guys like Baccellia will make for some close viewing at the position as both he and Baccellia jockey for spots on the team.
NT David Parry
With a substantial portion of the defensive line out during the home win versus the Cowboys, David Parry did his best to step up to the occasion. While the defensive line overall could have done much better, Parry came away with three tackles in an outing where he had spunk for sure.
Going into the Kansas City game, the depth chart has Rashard Lawrence and Corey Peters ahead of Parry. Lawrence was simply a scratch versus Dallas while Peters still needed to get into shape at that time. Peters may play some snaps this time, so the impetus is on Parry to build upon what he had against the Chiefs.
Featured Image courtesy of Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports
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