The Arizona Cardinals have placed Robert Alford on the injured reserve (chest) and signed fellow cornerback Ken Crawley to a one-year deal, the team announced on Friday.
Alford reportedly suffered a pectoral injury on Sunday, and Arizona responded to that news by scouring the market for outside additions while looking at its internal talent in practices.
The roster moves come shortly after ESPN’s Field Yates reported the Cardinals were set to work out veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Meanwhile, the Cardinals were getting internal looks at potential backup slot cornerbacks and had added depth there as well by signing B.W. Webb Friday morning.
Arizona’s signings of Crawley and Webb — plus its interest in Kirkpatrick — indicate the team is exploring all avenues to keep second-year defensive back Byron Murphy inside at nickel. He had moved to the outside cornerback position since Alford’s injury, fellow corner Patrick Peterson said Friday.
“We feel like we have some numbers, whether it’s nickel or corner, and now it’s kind of fitting in those spots what gives us our best chance, our best 11 on the field at one time,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I think as a staff we’re working on that to see where it goes. It’ll be good battles for those spots.”
The 27-year-old Crawley worked out for Arizona on Wednesday, three days after the Cardinals lost Alford to the pectoral injury.
Crawley was released by the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday and has 43 games with 25 starts of NFL experience. An undrafted signee out of Colorado in 2016, he latched on with the New Orleans Saints and made his home there for the next three years.
In 2017, Crawley’s most successful season as a pro, the cornerback tallied 54 tackles with an interception and 17 passes defensed over 13 games. Crawley went into 2018 as the starting corner for New Orleans but was waived a few months into the season.
The Miami Dolphins picked him up off waivers, and he appeared sparingly over six games before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder issue.