The Arizona Cardinals have effectively benched LB Isaiah Simmons after a poor Week 1 performance, and he hasn't quite recovered yet. Simmons has played less than 20 snaps the last two weeks, and we're unsure when the former first-round pick may see his reps settle back down.
In his place has been Zaven Collins and Nick Vigil handling duties as inside linebackers. Vigil has out-snapped Simmons 44-32 the last two games, but Bleacher Report believes it's time for a change.
In their most recent piece picking one player from each team to bench, the Cardinals are chosen to put Vigil away in favor of Simmons:
Bleacher Report Says Cardinals Should Bench Nick Vigil
"Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's use of his linebackers has been baffling through three weeks," said Alex Ballentine.
"Isaiah Simmons started in Week 1 and played 61 snaps, but he's come off the bench the past two weeks and was a part-timer on defense. After he played only 15 snaps in a Week 2 win against the Las Vegas Raiders, Joseph said he shouldn't worry about his workload.
"'I told him, It's not about how many plays you play. It's about how you play when you play,' Joseph said, per Darren Urban of the team's website.
"Meanwhile, Nick Vigil played 26 snaps in Week 2 and 18 snaps in Week 3. Through three games, he's Pro Football Focus' lowest-graded linebacker in the league.
"It doesn't make sense for Arizona to continue to trot out the 29-year-old over Simmons, whom it took eighth overall in 2020."
Bleacher Report might just be on to something.
That's no offense to Vigil, who (looking past the PFF grade) has looked serviceable for a linebacker who wasn't expected to start each game.
However, Simmons is one of the best players on the defensive side of the ball, and while Joseph will continue to harp on Simmons' lack of snaps as "strictly game plan" stuff, surely there's a way to find him more time on the field.
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