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Cardinals Thursday Practice Notebook: Joseph Calls Week 1 Performance 'Pretty Good'

DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Rodney Hudson returned to the practice field.

The Cardinals took the field on Thursday morning with a fuller group than the day prior during the practice portion open to the media . 

Wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green along with center Rodney Hudson were back after taking rest days. Safety Charles Washington returned to individual drills after he did not participate Wednesday because of a thigh issue. 

However, outside linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) and right tackle Kelvin Beachum (ribs) each missed their second straight days of practice. 

Practice Notes 

New leg

The Cardinals made a roster move before practice started, signing kicker Matthew McCrane to be the 17th player on the practice squad. 

McCrane, 27, was an undrafted rookie free agent from Kansas State who signed with the Cardinals in 2018. 

He got cut later that year, but he did play one game for Arizona in Week 11. He went 3-for-3 on extra points but did not attempt a field goal. 

He hasn't been in any team's training camp for the last year. He was signed by the Browns as a free agent in January, but was waived on May 11.

Joseph's takeaways 

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's goal against the Titans was to limit the run game, which in turn would hamper Tennessee's ability to use play-action. 

The Cardinals succeeded in that quest, holding All-Pro running back Derrick Henry to 58 rushing yards. The Titans ran play-action twice, fewest in the NFL.

"It wasn't perfect when you watch the coach's copies on Monday, but the effort was good, the things that we worked on and I went through all summer and all spring, the guys, they nailed it," Joseph told the media on Thursday. 

Joseph said that his unit needs to improve on third downs in the red zone, but that Sunday was a good start up front and in the secondary. 

Pugh on his COVID-19 list experience

Cardinals left guard Justin Pugh landed on reserve/COVID-19 twice during training camp, once as a close contact and another as a positive test. The latter held him out for over two weeks. 

"COVID kicked my ass," Pugh told the media in his first press conference since returning. 

"I was hurting and slow to get back into things. For me to go out there and play every snap, well, I missed two to get an IV right before halftime, which was a blunder. But to play almost every snap on Sunday was great for me."

Pugh said he's not 100%, but getting close. 

Daily Stat

The Cardinals defense finished Week 1 with the third-highest runs stuffed percentage at 30%. 

Only the Ravens and Bengals, who played Arizona's next opponent in the Vikings, were higher. 

Last year, Philadelphia led the league with 24% and the Cardinals finished at 20%.