Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Preview: Cardinals Face Packers on Thursday Night Football

How to watch information, previews, injuries and key players for the Arizona Cardinals Thursday Night Football matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

The Arizona Cardinals are about to play the third prime-time game ever in which both teams are on six-game winning streaks, per ESPN's Field Yates. 

On Thursday Night Football, the 7-0 Cardinals host the 6-1 Green Bay Packers at State Farm Stadium, a game that could determine the top spot in the NFC nearing the halfway point of the season. 

The Cardinals enter this game having outscored the Browns and Texans 68-19 in their last two games. 

Arizona's defense is now first in points allowed at just 16.3 per game.

Green Bay has not lost since a brutal 38-3 defeat in Week 1 against the Saints. The Packers have also won their last two games by double digits. 

Essential Info 

Need to knows

Game date/time

Thursday, Oct. 28 at 5:20 p.m.

TV

FOX-NFL Network with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews

Streaming

Amazon Prime Video

National radio

Westwood One Radio with Kevin Kugler and Kurt Warner

Cardinals radio

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM with Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley and Paul Calvisi

Spanish radio

KHOV 105.1 FM with Luis Hernandez and Rolando Cantu

Inside slant 

Both teams have injuries coming into this game, but it has been an especially brutal week for Green Bay.

Wide receiver Davante Adams, who is second in the NFL in catches, is on the COVID-19 reserve list.

He did not travel with the team to Arizona Wednesday and is unlikely to collect two negative tests in time, according to reports. 

Fellow receiver Allen Lazard is also in the protocol as an unvaccinated high-risk close contact. He is out for Thursday. 

The Packers are also without center Josh Myers (knee), who is on reserve/injured, while left tackle David Bakhtiari is still on the physically unable to perform list. 

This will put some added pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is having another terrific season.

He has limited turnovers and is fifth in completion percentage over expected. He can evade pressure as well. 

The x-factor is how well the Packers run the ball. If they are consistently setting up second- and third-and-shorts, the playbook opens up and play-action can be utilized. 

If the Cardinals can force the Packers into straight dropbacks, that gives them chances to get to Rodgers. 

Edge rusher Chandler Jones will play this week after missing two games with COVID-19. He will join Markus Golden, who has four sacks in his last two outings. 

However, defensive end J.J. Watt is out with a shoulder injury, which will hurt the Cardinals push up front and potentially against the run. 

Green Bay has two capable running backs in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. 

"Jones is a guy that's a home-run hitter," Cardinals defensive. coordinator Vance Joseph said. "Guy is small, but he's faster to gaps and that's sometimes tougher than playing against big backs . . . And the big guy Dillon, he's 240, so it's two different types of backs, which makes it tough."

Read More

On the other side, the Cardinals have scored at least 31 points in six of seven games. 

Quarterback Kyler Murray continued his push for league MVP with 261 passing yards on 28 throws and three touchdowns last week. 

Next Gen Stats

One of those scores was to tight end Zach Ertz, who had a 47-yard touchdown catch-and-run in his team debut. 

"He’s a big target running down the middle of the field," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Sunday. "He’s a tough matchup for linebackers, and when you’ve got some of the guys that we’ve got outside, it definitely helps.”

The Cardinals arsenal will face an injured Packers secondary. 

Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander, who would have likely defended receiver DeAndre Hopkins, is on injured reserve. 

Green Bay defensive coordinator Joe Barry will also be absent as he also has COVID-19. His responsibilities will be divided among defensive backs/passing game coordinator Jerry Gray and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti.

This is a week full of adversity for the Packers. But they still have the reigning league MVP in Rodgers and a tough run game. 

It's on the Cardinals to make sure that isn't enough. 

Injury report

Screenshot

Hopkins has not missed a game for Arizona yet, but he will be a game-day decision. 

So will center Max Garcia, who is Rodney Hudson's (injured reserve) backup. Sean Harlow will play center if Garcia is inactive. 

On a Thursday night in Week 8, neither team will be at full strength. 

Matchup history 

The Cardinals have had the upper hand in this matchup recently. Arizona defeated the Packers in 2018 with Josh Rosen at quarterback. 

Before that, the previous battle was an overtime thriller in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2015. 

Rodgers completed a Hail Mary to send the game to overtime, but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's heroics capped off a Cardinals win. 

That was Arizona's last playoff victory. 

The Cardinals have won three in a row against Green Bay, but the Packers own the all-time series 45-26-4. The first game was in 1921 and ended in a 3-3 tie. 

Players to watch 

Player to watch

ExpertPlayerWhy?

Howard Balzer

Sean Harlow/Max Garcia

If Garcia plays injured, he will be watched closely matched against Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark. If Harlow plays, he has responsibility for Clark along with making adjustments so the offense can function smoothly.

Donnie Druin

Marco Wilson

The Rookie has played well to this point, and with the Packers receiving corps depleted heading into Thursday, the secondary has all the more reason to step up and play well.

Alex Weiner

Markus Golden

Golden has been on a tear lately and with Jones back against a beat up offensive line, Golden should have opportunities to keep his sacks streak alive.