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Cardinals-Colts Elevations; Darius Leonard, Others Land on COVID List

The Arizona Cardinals announced practice-squad elevations for their Christmas Day matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

Only hours before their Christmas Day meeting with the Indianapolis Colts, the Arizona Cardinals announced a handful of elevations to the active roster for Saturday's game at State Farm Stadium. 

The Cardinals signed wide receiver Greg Dortch to the active roster from the practice squad. Arizona, already down at the receiver position since losing DeAndre Hopkins (MCL surgery), have Rondale Moore (ankle) listed as questionable with fellow receiver Antoine Wesley listed on the injury report this week with an ankle injury. 

Dortch has played in only two games this season with the Cardinals after being elevated from the practice squad. He originally signed with Arizona on Aug. 3 after previously playing in two games with Carolina in 2019 and spending time on the practice squads of the Jets, Panthers, Rams and Falcons. 

On the defense, the Cardinals elevated defensive tackle Josh Mauro and cornerback Kevin Peterson to the active roster from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements.

Mauro has played in three games this season after being elevated from the practice squad, with one of those coming as a starter. He signed with Arizona’s practice squad on Oct. 19 after spending training camp with the Cardinals. 

Mauro played three games in 2020 with Arizona after previously playing 47 games (26 starts) with the Cardinals between 2014-17.

Peterson played in last week’s loss against Detroit after being elevated from the practice squad. He re-signed with the Cardinals on Oct. 13 after playing in 26 games (four starts) the past two seasons (2019-20) with the team.

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On special teams, Arizona elevated punter/holder Ryan Winslow to the active roster from the practice squad as a standard elevation.

Winslow re-signed to the Cardinals practice squad on Thursday after spending time with Arizona in the preseason. He punted in two games earlier this season with Carolina after playing in two games with the Cardinals in 2019. He takes over the punting and holding duties from Andy lee, who was placed on the COVID list Thursday.

As for the Colts, the team received more bad news on the COVID front before taking on the Cardinals. 

Only a day after losing guard Quenton Nelson to the COVID list, linebacker Darius Leonard, wide receiver Zach Pascal and safety Khari Willis were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 Saturday.

As a response, the Colts activated cornerback Anthony Chesley, wide receiver Keke Coutee, guard/tackle Carter O’Donnell, cornerback Brian Poole, safety Will Redmond and defensive tackle Chris Williams to the active roster from the practice squad for Saturday all as COVID-19 replacements. 

The loss of Leonard will be substantial, as he has proved himself to be one of the best players at his position in the league. He has six forced fumbles in 2021 and was announced as a starter this on the AFC Pro-Bowl team. 

Inactives for the game will be announced around 4:45 pm Arizona time, 90 minutes before kickoff at State Farm Stadium. 

On the national stage, it's clear neither team will be at full strength in a pivotal game. Then again, with the combination of injuries and COVID, there aren't many teams in the NFL that are.