A part-time starter in his first season with the Cardinals, Antonio Hamilton was on track to be a full-time player in Arizona’s secondary this season. But he will not be starting his second Arizona campaign on time.
The Cardinals placed the veteran cornerback on their reserve/non-football injury list Thursday because of a cooking accident at his home, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Hamilton explained on Twitter that he suffered a second-degree burn on his feet.
Kliff Kingsbury confirmed Hamilton was set to be a starter this season for the Cards; the fourth-year Arizona HC said Hamilton told the team about the accident earlier this week. Kingsbury said Hamilton had the best camp of any Cards defender. This is certainly an odd development, and it is unclear if the kitchen mishap occurred before or after the Cardinals agreed to acquire Trayvon Mullen from the Raiders. Either way, Hamilton is out for at least Arizona’s first four games.
Arizona has Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson in place as its top holdover corners, but Hamilton played 29% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. The 29-year-old defender has played with four teams across a six-year career — the Raiders, Giants, Chiefs and Cards — but has never started more than two games in a season. With the former UDFA having made a midcareer climb to the top of a team’s depth chart for the first time, this represents a tough break and another blow to a Cards cornerback corps that has been in need for a while now.
The Cardinals added both Mullen and corner Javelin Guidry at the position this week. The latter, a former standout sprinter, is coming over from the Jets via waiver claim. As a result of this development, cornerback Christian Matthew will be re-signed, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero adds (on Twitter). A seventh-round rookie, Matthew was waived to make room for Guidry on Wednesday.