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Cardinals Friday Practice Notebook: Still No Kingsbury; Chandler Jones Returns to Facility

The Arizona Cardinals practiced without head coach Kliff Kingsbury once again ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Houston Texans.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury remained out Friday after he tested positive for COVID-19 a week prior. 

However, the team has managed to game-plan for this week's game against the Texans  with virtual meetings. 

Plus, Kingsbury even started his game planning for the Texans while at home recovering during the Cardinals Week 6 victory over Cleveland. 

Arizona won despite not having Kingsbury or defenders Chandler Jones, Zach Allen and Corey Peters in a show of overcoming adversity. 

Just over 48 hours before game time and three of those four are still out with COVID-19. 

Practice notes

Chandler Jones

Jones missed Sunday's game after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier last week. 

Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph told the media Friday Jones was back in the building. Jones was not on the practice field, but did work out.

The Cardinals will see if he can play Sunday. 

"A 10-day COVID stint; it's always tough on players to come back and to be at full strength," Joseph said. "So we have to gauge it and make sure it's right for him to play."

Jones had symptoms. 

Kylie Fitts

Edge rusher and special teamer Kylie Fitts' season is done. He posted this to social media Thursday: 

Joseph said, "He's had a couple of head issues in the last year, too. And it's obviously player safety first. So he's he's going on IR for the year." 

On/off the practice field

Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks was back on the practice field after missing two days with a toe injury. 

He also missed practice time last week, but played and was impactful in Sunday's win. 

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Joseph said Hicks is sore but doing fine and was able to participate in walk-throughs this week plus some of practice Friday. 

Defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and tight end Darrell Daniels remained out. 

Matt Prater's kicker origin story

Prater spoke with the media after winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. 

He gave some background to how he became an NFL kicker. 

He was a soccer and baseball player growing up, and he was on the same soccer team as Santiago Gramática, the younger brother of former NFL kickers Martín and Bill. 

"When Martín and Bill got into kicking field goals, I'm one of four boys, and my dad said, 'You guys can kick the soccer ball pretty good, why don't you try this?'"

Prater did and picked it back up in high school. 


Two players mentioned how great the vibes are within the Cardinals locker room after practice. 

"We go out there and we're trying to compete and win every day, but we're having a good time," edge rusher Devon Kennard said. "We enjoy spending time with each other in the locker room, vibes are very fun and everybody's interacting."

Prater added, "The vibe is just different. It's like a special feeling from top to bottom; just everybody in the building is excited, fun to be around. In general when you enjoy what you're doing, it makes things a lot easier and better."

The locker-room dynamic has been a prominent topic this year, and from the players' perspective, it has been a healthy environment. 

The veteran leadership has helped and the players are on the same page wanting to be great each week. 

Being 6-0 surely helps, so how it responds to a loss is a wait-and-see. But this team has overcome some obstacles this year and has stuck together. 

Daily Stat

The Cardinals have a three-way tie for most receptions between DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds at 26. 

Rondale Moore is right behind with 24.