After the Arizona Cardinals traded a 2021 sixth-round pick to the New York Giants in order to bring back outside linebacker Markus Golden Oct. 23 for another stint with the franchise, they added another familiar face Wednesday by signing defensive tackle Josh Mauro to the active roster from the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad.
Additionally, the Cardinals announced two additions to the practice squad, signing defensive tackle Daniel Wise and running back Khalfani Muhammad, who tried out for the team Oct. 22. In Arizona's 3-4 defensive scheme, all defensive linemen are labeled as defensive tackles, despite possibly playing end in other schemes, which Mauro and Wise did.
While brief, Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph expressed intrigue in the signings along the defensive front Wednesday.
"We added a couple d-linemen here recently that we're excited about," he said.
A listed 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, Mauro played 47 games (26 starts) with the Cardinals from 2014-17 and recorded 70 tackles (52 solo), two sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery during that time. He played 12 games (four starts) with the Giants in 2018 and 13 games (seven starts) with the formerly-known Oakland Raiders last season prior to joining the Jaguars this year.
On Aug. 21, Mauro was handed a five-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. It was the second time in his career he missed time due to PED circumstances after being serving a four-game suspension in 2018 while with the Giants.
The 29-year-old Mauro entered the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2014 and signed with Arizona from the Steelers practice squad that same year.
Muhammad, 5-foot-7, 175 pounds, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans out of California. On May 12 of that year, the franchise signed him to a four-year, $2.47 million rookie contract with a signing bonus of $70,837. He was waived Sept. 2, 2017, and was signed to the Titans practice squad Sept. 3 before being released April 30, 2018. He later joined the New England Patriots on Aug. 27, 2018, but was waived Aug. 31. Following that stint, Muhammad signed to the Denver Broncos practice squad and later signed two separate reserve/futures contracts. He was most recently waived July 27 and became a free agent.
Wise, 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas in 2019. He made the team's practice squad and spent the entire season with the group. He was signed to a reserve/futures contract Dec. 30, 2019 before being waived March 18.
The roster moves come after Arizona recently added defensive tackle Zach Allen (ankle) and outside linebacker Isaiah Irving (neck) to reserve/injured Tuesday, sidelining both for at least three weeks. Allen joined rookie defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence (calf) as the two defensive linemen out with injury.
Meanwhile, Muhammad joins the practice squad after Cardinals starting running back Kenyan Drake suffered a reported high-ankle sprain Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks that is expected to keep him out for a few weeks. Chase Edmonds will likely take over as the starter, while rookies Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Ward are also on the active roster. Muhammad joins running back D.J. Foster as the two at the position on the practice squad.
With Wednesday's changes, the Cardinals have 51 players on the active roster and 15 on the practice squad. Golden was granted a roster exemption Oct. 24 that has not yet been lifted, meaning only 50 count at this time.
The official team roster also still includes safety Curtis Riley on the practice squad, although he was listed on Tuesday's transaction report as having terminated his contract and several reports indicate he was signed to the Minnesota Vikings' 53-man roster.