Iupati has been out since Week 1 with this malady but will miss extensive time now, and this could end his season. The 30-year-old left guard will miss at least eight more weeks as a result of this decision. Iupati will undergo surgery to address this problem, and the Cardinals are short on guards right now. And offensive line is reeling.
Arians added Alex Boone will miss “a couple weeks” with a chest injury suffered Monday night. Arians, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter), didn’t seem to point to left tackle D.J. Humphries playing Sunday either.
The Iupati decision also complicates matters for the Cardinals regarding how they will manage their roster this season.
David Johnson already resides on IR with a wrist injury, and although it could be December before he’s ready to come back, the All-Pro running back profiles as an obvious IR-return candidate — especially if the team is contending for a playoff spot. As of now, Iupati would stand to occupy Arizona’s other IR-boomerang slot, but given that the Cards haven’t played their fourth game, it would be too early to proclaim their IR-return decisions set.
However, Iupati and Johnson profile as key players who would fit the bill over just about anyone else who would venture onto IR with an injury that could heal in time for late-season contributions. A four-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro with the 49ers, Iupati signed with the Cardinals last year and played 15 games. This will mark the first season he’s played fewer than 12. And in six of Iupati’s seven full NFL seasons, he’s suited up and started at least 13 games.
John Wetzel and rookie Will Holden would be options to replace Humphries at tackle, while rookie Dorian Johnson is an option be promoted from the practice squad. Arians said a roster move will be made to address the depth up front.