It’s been a strange week for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim.
He consummated a trade with the Eagles that brought tight end Zach Ertz to Arizona, only to then find out (Oct. 15) that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
During his Friday appearance on ArizonaSports 98.7 FM, Keim revealed, “I feel great. Feel really good. Knocked me down for a few days. Basically, from what I understand, being vaccinated certainly helps in that situation, but really feel good right now and got through the tough parts of it.
"Just getting ready to try to hopefully clear protocols in the next few days and feeling pretty close. I’m on the home stretch right now, hopefully in the next 24 of 48 hours.”
The acquisition of Ertz came only five days after tight end Maxx Williams was lost for the season because of a knee injury that required surgery this week.
“Really unfortunate for Maxx,” Keim said. “I know we all really love what he brings to the table in terms of his leadership and the kind of guy he is in the locker room. When he got hurt it says a lot about who he is; the way they responded. We felt like we had to make a move.
“To have the opportunity to acquire a guy like Zach Ertz and what he’s done in this league is to me a great opportunity for us.”
Keim made sure to credit owner Michael Bidwill for his support in pursuing the trade.
“Talking to (Eagles general manager) Howie Roseman and then talking it through with Michael Bidwill, to have his support just shows you what ownership means to us and how supportive he was in making this move,” he said. “Being (5-0) and saying, ‘Hey, let’s go get another piece. Let’s be aggressive, let’s add a guy that not only does a lot for us on the field, whether it’s schematically creating mismatches in the passing game, helping us in the run game, but a guy that really fits in our locker room.'
“(It) follows what we’ve done with guys like J.J. (Watt), (Rodney) Hudson and A.J. Green, really strong character guys that are still playing good football.”
Keim was also mindful of the message it sent to every player.
He said, “That’s the one thing as a general manager that you have to keep in mind is after the team is built and after the 53 is put together in late August or early September, you don’t have a lot of chances other than small decisions to affect the team because it’s put in place for the most part. But there’s an opportunity that arises from time to time, especially the situation we were in at 5-0 with a very talented team that I think has the chance to do special things this year.
“It was a chance to instill confidence in the locker room that the people upstairs, the personnel department, the coaching staff and ownership are willing to do things to help the team and again instill that confidence in that group that as an organization we’re willing to do whatever it takes to put a championship team on the field."
The character accumulated is surely a large reason why the team in the only undefeated one in the NFL.
Keim concluded, “The leadership we have on this team is second to none. It starts with guys like J.J. and Hop (DeAndre Hopkins), Kyler (Murray) and A.J. Green. Obviously Rodney Hudson who did not play last week. When you have players with that mentality in your locker room, just that confidence sort of permeates throughout the building.”