The Arizona Cardinals must cut their roster to 53 by 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2. Here’s a final 53-man roster projection:
Once Bruce Arians named Drew Stanton the backup last week, the rotation was set. It’s highly unlikely the Cardinals release Gabbert, which means they’ll be willing to carry three QBs on the 53. However, the question becomes whether or how often he’ll be active on game day.
Whether to keep four or five running backs will be either the toughest or second-toughest decision the Cardinals make during cuts because of T.J. Logan. He’ll end up on injured reserve before the season as he continues to recover from a dislocated wrist, which could open the door for Ellington to make the roster. If the Cardinals choose to keep four with Logan, they’ll be thin at backup help for David Johnson.
The other tough decision for the Cardinals will be whether to keep six or seven receivers. Golden has been consistently good during camp but Ross is an asset on special teams that may make him too valuable to release.
There’s a chance the Cardinals could go with three tight ends but the injury history of Niklas makes it likely they keep four. Seals-Jones has shown progress during camp as a converted receiver, especially as a blocker.
Position flexibility will go a long way for the Cardinals this season and will be why Toner and Wetzel will be valuable pieces to the offensive line. Johnson is still a project but he’ll get reps during practice that could help bring him along. Don’t be surprised if Arizona ends up keeping nine offensive linemen, with rookie Will Holden as the final member of the room.
This is a rotation the Cardinals like. Pierre was one of the players that had training camp buzzing this year. Williams has continued to grow into his own and develop as a solid rotational back-up. Keep an eye on Ed Stinson if the Cardinals go with eight defensive linemen, but his injury history had him on the outside looking in.
Arizona can get away with keeping three outside linebackers because of Reddick’s experience as a defensive end in college. Bynes impressed enough during camp in a short amount of time to make him a suitable option to back up the inside linebackers while Bucannon continues to get ready for the season. Wright is too good of a special-teamer for Arizona to let go.
Harlan Miller will end up being the odd man out of the secondary room this season as the Cardinals commit to Ford, a rookie draft pick.
Even though Matt Wile punted for the Cardinals last year, Leone could end up taking his job after a preseason of solid punting.