Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake and tight end Maxx Williams missed practice Monday due to soreness, and Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said the team is aiming for both to be healthy for a Sept. 13 opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
“More soreness than anything,” Kingsbury said when asked by a reporter why the running back was in a walking boot at practice. “Just making sure … that he’s feeling good and doing some precautionary stuff with him.”
Drake said on Twitter that his walking boot wasn’t a sign for alarm.
“Was in a walking (boot) around this time last summer too. Just trying to stay consistent lol no worries I’m good,” he tweeted.
Kingsbury did not give a timeline for Drake’s return but on Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta added he expected the running back would be “back out there pretty soon.”
Williams has not participated in a practice dating back to the end of last week. His absence has handed off reps to Dan Arnold and Darrell Daniels.
“Same deal, he’s got some soreness, some lingering stuff,” Kingsbury said, “and once again, he’s one of those players along with several others, (where) for us it’s about getting to Week 1 and having them feel good. We’ll take it from there.
“There’s quite a few vets on this team, we know what they’re about and we want them to be healthy when we play the 49ers. He’s one of them on that plan.”
Praise for Isaiah Simmons
The expectation is that Cardinals first-round pick Isaiah Simmons will find his way onto the field, in one role or multiple, even though starting inside linebackers Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell will be on the field together most of the time.
How Simmons is eased into his role, of course, has been limited by the shortened offseason. Putting too much on his plate is a legitimate worry — that’s the case for all the rookies.
While we reporters are not allowed by policy to discuss what exactly the Cardinals are doing with the rookie inside linebacker during the meat of practices, you can take this comment from Hicks as a good sign that Simmons will have an impact on the defense in Week 1.
“Isaiah’s been one of the most impressive rookies I’ve been around, just because of his ability to retain information and understand concepts. You can tell he was well-coached, he’s studied football, he understands the game of football,” Hicks said.
“He’s super impressive.”
— Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick suited up and participated in his first Cardinals practice on Monday. He officially signed Sunday.
— This week will be key for position battles before the Cardinals begin getting into a regular season routine, Kingsbury said.
“Heading into next week, we’re planning on more of a mock game week to kind of get used to how we practice and the hours and the meetings,” he added.
— Receiver DeAndre Hopkins went through warmups and skillwork on Monday after he participated in only warmups Sunday.