The Arizona Cardinals released their weekly press packet for the 2020 team’s opener on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, and with that came the first official depth chart.
While that is of course up for change in the coming days, it might bring some bits of knowledge after training camp was largely off the record for reporters to share which players were taking reps where.
Here are a few things that stand out about the depth chart that might clarify position battles heading into the season opener.
Tackle depth comes into view
Eight-year NFL veteran Kelvin Beachum is listed as the starting right tackle, taking the place of 12-game starter from a year ago in Justin Murray. Beachum played right tackle his rookie season but has been on the left side since.
Murray is listed as the backup right guard and right tackle after he took reps inside and out during training camp.
Tackle Josh Miles, a 2019 seventh-round pick who was a developmental player out of Morgan State, is listed as the backup left tackle to D.J. Humphries. That’s notable because he is listed ahead of 2020 third-round pick Josh Jones, who ended training camp banged up but had been a quick learner, according to offensive line coach Sean Kugler.
Isabella might get opportunity on special teams
Second-round pick and second-year pro Andy Isabella is not one of the three receivers listed as a starter (that would be DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk). He is listed as the No. 2 slot guy behind Fitzgerald and said during camp he was playing exclusively there.
But Isabella will get his special teams opportunities, it looks like. He’s listed as the first team punt and kickoff return man.
Second-string running back Chase Edmonds (kick return) and Kirk (punt) are listed as the backups behind Isabella.
Allen again starts on D-line
It looks like lineman Zach Allen will start the year alongside nose tackle Corey Peters and free agent addition Jordan Phillips on the interior for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Bulked up after being thrown into Week 1 action because of preseason releases last year, he progressed well since his rookie campaign that ended with him on the IR.
Rookies Leki Fotu (tackle) and Rashard Lawrence (nose) will get action as backups, as will Tuesday addition Angelo Blackson.
Package options on defense
In more unsurprising news, Dre Kirkpatrick, the veteran signed to replace Robert Alford mid-camp, is listed as the No. 2 corner after Patrick Peterson.
Byron Murphy, however, will surely see plenty of action in nickel packages — at least.
Speaking of package options, rookie first-round pick Isaiah Simmons indeed is a backup with vets Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell starting at inside linebacker. That just gives the Cardinals their choice of who will be that extra player hovering in the box or in the slot.