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FLASHUPDATE WEEK 6 TEAM NOTES/Wednesday, 8 October, 2014Compiled By FlashUpdate Editor Bob Harris
=========================ARIZONA CARDINALSThe Arizona Cardinals lost seven players due to injury in Sunday's loss at Denver, and one of them -- starting outside linebackerMatt Shaughnessy-- will go on injured reserve designated to return.
Shaughnessy, who has knee cartilage damage, cannot play in a game for eight weeks, meaning he could come back for the final four games of the season.
Defensive endCalais Campbell, injured in what coachBruce Arianscalled "the dirtiest play" he's seen in his 37 years in the NFL, has no structural damage. Arians said Campbell is out one to three weeks with an MCL strain.
There is great uncertainty at quarterback, with a chanceCarson Palmerand/orDrew Stantoncould be back for Sunday's game against Washington. But Arians said "there's a good chance neither one of them" will play.
The damaged nerve in Palmer's throwing shoulder responded to treatment he received from a specialist in Denver. The quarterback, injured in Arizona's season-opening win over San Diego, threw 20 passes from a distance of 10 yards on Sunday and will throw more on Tuesday, Arians said.
"Carson is feeling much better today," Arians said at his Monday news conference. "No residual effects from throwing, so he's continued on his treatment and is on the way back. So he and Drew are possible for this ball game."
Stanton is going through the NFL-mandated concussion protocol.
On Tuesday, Arians updated Palmer's status, tellingSirius XM NFL Radiothat the veteran QB was able to throw some. The coach added that Wednesday would be a critical day for his evaluation. If all goes well, Palmer could practice Thursday or Friday.
In order for Palmer to play against the Redskins, he would have to go through a full practice and be able to make all his normal throws, Arians said.
According toDarren Urbanof the teams official website, both Palmer and Stanton were planning to work on a limited basis Wednesday.
With rookieLogan Thomasthe team's only healthy quarterback, the Cardinals could be looking to sign someone. Anyone the team signs, Arians said, hopefully would be familiar with the team's offensive system. Any new signee would be a backup to Thomas, Arians said.
In light of that, the Cardinals signed former Steelers, Ravens, Bills and Eagles quarterbackDennis Dixon. The 29-year-old Oregon product spent time with Arians in Pittsburgh and knows how to run his system if need be.
I'll be following up on Palmer and Stanton via Late-Breaking Update in coming days; watch there for all the latest developments right up through kickoff.
No matter who plays quarterback, they will need more help from receivers than either Stanton or Thomas received in Denver.
Arians counted seven dropped passes, most coming in critical situations. It was unusual for a receivers group that is normally sure-handed
Meanwhile, second-year proAlex Okaforwill start in place of Shaughnessy, the coach said. A combination of players, including rookieKarim Martin, will fill in for Campbell.
Asked how Martin played on Sunday, the coach said, "Not so good."
The NFL issued a statement on Monday verifying that Campbell was injured by a chop block by Broncos tight endJulius Thomasin violation of a league rule. Thomas blocked Campbell "in the area of the thigh or lower" whileRyan Cladyengaged the big Arizona defensive lineman "simultaneously" with a high block, the statement said. The play drew a 15-yard penalty.
NFL spokesmanMichael Signorasaid "a decision on a possible fine will be made later this week."
"You'll never convince me it wasn't premeditated," Arians said.
Arians said the proper punishment would be to suspend the culprit as long as Campbell is out "but that's not the way it is."
"To set somebody up there and another guy chops you, I haven't seen that one ever," he said.
Arians said he brought up the play in his brief postgame conversation with Broncos coachJohn Fox.
"He had no clue," that the play had occurred, other than it drew a penalty, Arians said. "I respect John."
Inside linebackerLarry Footesaid "current players, ex-players, they should be disgusted with that play."
"I'm waiting to see what the league does," Foote said. "That looked like 'Karate Kid,' 'Sweep the legs, Johnny.' It was ugly. That's a black eye to football -- period. Even their own players knew it. Yeah, they said something, even the linemen. Hopefully it isn't coming from the sidelines. I don't want to play that game. But that should be dealt with. It don't get no uglier than that."
Cornerback-special teams playerJustin Bethelhas an AC sprain but "should be able to go this week," Arians said, while cornerbackPatrick Petersonhas a low ankle sprain and "should be fine."
PunterDave Zastudilreinjured his groin against the Broncos and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday; this lead to a return ofDrew Butlerfrom the practice squad.
Rookie tight endTroy Niklashas a high ankle sprain and probably will not practice Wednesday. According to theSports Xchange, Niklas could miss significant time. The Cardinals have some depth at tight end, so the injury shouldn't be very damaging.
Other notes of interest. ... The Cardinals gained just 37 yards on 19 carries. The offensive line didn't get any push, nor did it open holes. There was nowhere forAndre Ellingtonto go. The longest gain was six yards.
So the seven dropped passes against Denver (and GMSteve Keimcounted nine) were even more critical.
Regardless of the actual number,ESPN.com'sJosh Weinfussnotes the number needs to decline significantly against Washington on Sunday if the Cardinals are to avoid dropping two games in a row. The Redskins are giving up an average of 7.32 passing yards per play (22nd in the NFL), while the Cardinals are averaging 6.48 passing yards per play (21st).
That number would've been better hadTed Ginnnot dropped two passes, andJohn BrownRob Housler,Larry Fitzgerald,Michael Floydand Andre Ellington all not dropped one.
The replay of Housler's drop in the first quarter shows that Stanton's pass was thrown slightly behind him, but it should've been caught. It went right through his hands. Brown had two chances to make plays in the first half -- the first was a missed touchdown that went off his fingertips, a pass that may have been slightly too long, but he had a chance to come down with it. On the second pass, the replay shows Denver cornerbackBradley Robyhitting his hands while making the play, a potential pass interference penalty.
Better concentration is important for this weekend, as is not trying to make plays and head up field before the ball is secured.
It's safe to assume that will be an area of emphasis this week.
DEPTH CHART AS OF WEDNESDAY AT 14:00 CTQB:Logan Thomas, Carson Palmer, Drew StantonRB:Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor, Marion GriceFB:Robert HughesWR:Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Ted Ginn, Jaron Brown, Walt BrownTE:John Carlson, Darren Fells, Robert Housler, Troy NiklasPK:Chandler Catanzaro=========================
=========================ATLANTA FALCONSAccording toESPN.com'sVaughn McClure, the last thing a sulkingRoddy Whitewanted to hear was anything about how he guaranteed that he would score a touchdown against the New York Giants.
Especially after the Falcons' offense missed out on two red zone opportunities in the first half, then got stuck in neutral for the final 30 minutes of a 30-20 loss Sunday.
A couple touchdowns instead of field goals and maybe we're talking about ending a road losing streak at four instead of extending it to five. A pair of touchdowns and maybe the (Met)life is sucked out of the Giants' home crowd.
"It hurt us," White said of the missed opportunities. "It hurt us down the stretch. When you get short fields and you get turnovers, you've got to score touchdowns in this league, especially on the road, with how hard it is to win on the road. When we were kicking field goals, we gave them an opportunity, a chance."
The Falcons entered Sunday's game with the league's best red zone touchdown percentage, scoring touchdowns on eight of nine trips. Sunday, they managed just one such score in three attempts, looking more like the team that ranked 22nd in red zone efficiency last season.
"Those are red zone situations that we would like to have put the ball in the end zone," head coachMike Smithsaid. "And we know against a good offense and a good quarterback likeEli Manningthat when you kick field goals when you get down there, you really put yourself behind."
The first failure came on a third-and-4 right at the beginning of the second quarter, a drive that began afterEric Weemsrecovered a fumble on special teams at the Giants' 21-yard line. QuarterbackMatt Ryandelivered a shovel pass to touchdown-makerAntone Smith, but Smith managed just a yard. The Falcons settled forMatt Bryant's20-yard field goal.
Then with 11 seconds remaining before halftime, the Falcons faced a third-and-goal at the 2-yard line. White ran a slant but couldn't come up with the ball as Giants linebackerJameel McClainand cornerbackPrince Amukamaraconverged on him. The Falcons again had to be content with a Bryant 20-yard field goal and 13-10 halftime lead.
"We had a chance right there to put them away," White said. "We didn't handle our business on offense because we didn't convert in the red zone. We didn't get those touchdowns that we needed."
Speaking specifically about his red zone chance, White said it led to a discussion about what could have been done differently.
"We didn't run any fade routes