The official injury report with game status for the Cardinals’ Thursday night game against the Green Bay Packers will be out later Wednesday afternoon, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury provided some information while talking to the media Wednesday morning.
New additions to the report this week and being listed as not practicing Monday and Tuesday were wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring), defensive end J.J. Watt (shoulder) and center Max Garcia (Achilles).
Kingsbury said, “We'll know more this afternoon. And then on game day, obviously, some of those guys will be a game-day decision.”
The severity of Garcia’s injury is unknown, but Dr. David Chao, who was the team physician for the San Diego Chargers for 17 years, made some observations to AllCardinals. Chao has a popular injury website, profootballdoc.com, and can be followed on Twitter.
Garcia appeared to be limping late in Sunday’s game against Houston. He played 66 of 71 snaps and missed the final five along with two other offensive linemen when backups entered the game.
Chao texted, “Seemed to favor left side. Video doesn’t support Achilles tear. Tendinitis?”
When asked if he could play if that was the extent of the problem, Chao wrote, “Depends on how desperate team is. How thin on o-line.”
Finally, the question is if there could be further injury by playing. To that, Chao wrote, “Only small chance for rupture but can make it more sore.”
Kingsbury confirmed that Sean Harlow will be the center if Garcia can’t play or if he tries to go and struggles.
Harlow played left guard in the second half of the Week 3 game against Jacksonville after Justin Pugh suffered a back injury on the Jaguars’ field-goal return for a touchdown at the end of the first half.
As for center, Kingsbury said of Harlow, “He's played it before and he's got a bunch of reps in our system. We'll sit Rodney (Hudson) out some Wednesdays or just limit him Wednesdays and during those days, Sean has gotten some good work. And so there's a high level of confidence of how he'll be able to perform if he's called upon.”
Kingsbury said of the depth behind Harlow, “We'll have a few guys who will be on deck. Justin Pugh can play center, Beach (tackle Kelvin Beachum) has played center. So hopefully we don't get to that point.”
Hudson suffered an injury to his ribs in Week 5 against San Francisco and has missed the last two games while on reserve/injured. He is eligible to be activated next week for the Nov. 7 game against the 49ers.
“He's progressing well,” Kingsbury said. “I've seen him doing a little bit more and more each day. And so we're hopeful that he'll be ready to go for San Fran. I'm not 100% on that, but I like what I've seen.”
As for Hopkins, who has missed only two games in his career, Kingsbury said, “If it's Hop and it's a national TV game, I know he'll try to be out there. He likes those bright lights (chuckles) and usually plays really good.”