Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake returned to the practice field for the final session of training camp Thursday, absent the walking boot he wore Aug. 24.
At that time, head coach Kliff Kingsbury was non-committal on the specifics of Drake's ailment. He chalked it up to "soreness" and "precautionary stuff," similar to the reasoning he has consistently given for several players who have been out of training camp at times.
Kingsbury addressed the media prior to Thursday's practice, but did not preview Drake's return. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was also observed in attendance during the stretching period of the open portion of practice, but he did not participate in offensive walk-throughs and was seen heading back into the building without his helmet.
Upon news of Drake wearing a walking boot becoming public, he took to Twitter to alleviate concerns and answer questions on the minds of Cardinals' fans.
"Was in a walking [boot] around this time last summer too," he wrote. "Just trying to stay consistent ... no worries I’m good."
Staying consistent, in his words, kept Drake out of practice for two and a half weeks. Kingsbury previously told reporters that the team would be gracious with veterans' days off this training camp, especially given the lack of proper offseason training programs leading up to camp and the cancellation of preseason games.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was also observed at practice Thursday, although Kingsbury said earlier in the day that the franchise was giving him off through the weekend to rest, despite his eagerness to return to practice.
"He's more than anything just resting," Kingsbury said. "He has a great grasp of our system. He's been asking us to practice and we've been telling him, 'No, we don't need you to practice.' We're going to get him to the weekend and then get started on San Fran next week, game week, and go from there. But he's ready to roll."
As of Thursday, the Cardinals roster still has 74 active players participating ahead of the 53-man cutdown Saturday. The 16-man practice squad begins to be designated Sunday.