Zeke Turner

Cardinals Designate DL Jordan Phillips For Return

Jordan Phillips is moving closer to making his season debut. The Cardinals designated the veteran defensive lineman to return from IR Wednesday, starting his 21-day clock.

The second-year Arizona defender has three weeks to return from IR or miss the entire 2021 season. Phillips’ absence has dragged on with his current team; he has not played since Nov. 8 of last year.

The Cards did not disclose Phillips’ injury upon placing him on IR in September. His two IR stints in 2020 came because of hamstring injuries. The veteran interior D-lineman missed the final seven games of Arizona’s season. The Cardinals gave Phillips a three-year, $30MM deal in 2020, bringing him west after his 9.5-sack 2019 season with the Bills. The 29-year-old defender has yet to deliver much in the way of production since, adding some pressure ahead of his season debut.

Phillips is close to rejoining a team that has improved since he last suited up. The Cards are the league’s lone remaining unbeaten, at 5-0, and now have J.J. Watt anchoring their defensive line. A Phillips return in Week 6 would help a Cardinals team that is expected to be without Chandler Jones, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The Cards rank sixth in the league in scoring defense.

In addition to Phillips’ return to practice, the Cardinals placed both tight end Maxx Williams and special-teamer Zeke Turner on IR. Williams is facing the prospect of missing the rest of this season with a knee injury; Turner is battling a shoulder ailment. Arizona added some depth by signing veteran tight end Richard Rodgers to its practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign 24 UDFAs

The Cardinals have signed enough undrafted free agents to fill a starting lineup. Of course, it’s likely that only a few will actually make Arizona’ final cut. The complete rundown of Arizona’s UDFA class is as follows:

  • CB Elijah Battle (West Virginia)
  • TE Alec Bloom (Connecticut)
  • LB Dennis Gardeck (Sioux Falls)
  • LB Frank Ginda (San Jose State)
  • OL Will House (Southern Nazarene)
  • S A.J. Howard (Appalachian State)
  • DE Alec James (Wisconsin)
  • QB Chad Kanoff (Princeton)
  • K Matt McCrane (Kansas State)
  • LB Mike Needham (Southern Utah)
  • CB Deatrick Nichols (South Florida)
  • DT Owen Obasuyi (Hampton)
  • OL Austin Olsen (Southern Illinois)
  • LB Matthew Oplinger (Yale)
  • S Jonathan Owens (Missouri Western)
  • FB Austin Ramesh (Wisconsin)
  • WR Trent Sherfield (Vanderbilt)
  • CB Tavierre Thomas (Ferris State)
  • WR Jalen Tolliver (Arkansas-Monticello)
  • WR Jonah Trinnaman (BYU)
  • S Zeke Turner (Washington)
  • TE Andrew Vollert (Weber State)
  • OL Brant Weiss (Toledo)
  • WR Corey Willis (Central Michigan)

The Cardinals also have six drafted rookies to account for, meaning that they presently have 99 players in total. The Cardinals will be laying off at least nine players in the coming days in order to sign the aforementioned UDFAs to contracts.

Kicker Phil Dawson inked a two-year, $6MM deal with the Cardinals last year, but the team could save $2.5MM with just $1MM in dead money by releasing him. In theory, McCrane could have an opportunity to unseat him, especially since he would represent a cheaper option. Last year, Dawson connected on 80% of his field goal tries, including 4-of-5 from 50+ yards. He also nailed the longest field goal try of his NFL career when he sank a 57-yard game winner against the Jaguars.