PHOENIX, AZ - If a 24 to 7 loss to San Diego wasn't punishment enough, the Arizona Cardinals are also suffering through some pretty serious injuries the day after preseason game number three.
We'll get to the injuries in a moment, but first, let's talk about the game.
The Cardinals committed 11 penalties for 94 yards and the defense continued to give up big chunks of real estate, yielding drives of 87, 44 and 80 yards.
The Chargers outgained the Cardinals on offense, 310 yards to 273, but it was the Red Zone efficiency that made the difference. The Chargers went 2 for 3 in the Red Zone while the Cardinals finished 1 for 2.
It's that lack of production in the Red Zone and the number of mental mistakes that has Cardinals coach Bruce Arians concerned.
"We talk about being a smart football team, that's probably the dumbest first 30 minutes of football I've ever seen," Arians said. "The mistakes that we made -- the pre-snap penalties, tossing the ball back after we get a turnover at the goal-line -- ridiculous things that we did out there."
It was the worst performance of the preseason for the Cards and fans left the game wondering if Arizona can recover from the debacle.
Fans started booing after the Chargers scored right before halftime on a fumble by Ryan Matthews ended up in the hands of the Cardinals, only to be fumbled back to San Diego and then run into the end zone by John Phillips. Needless to say, Arians wasn't happy with his defense.
"Couldn't get off the field on third down defensively, couldn't convert a third down offensively. It's very disheartening, but we'll come back. We'll learn from it," Arians said.
We hope they do!
On the injury front, the Cardinals lost first round draft pick, offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, for the season with a broken right leg. Cooper got rolled up on trying to block downfield and ended up being carted off the field.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall suffered a knee injury, something he's been struggling with throughout the preseason. Hopefully that one isn't too serious. Tight end Rob Housler slowly walked off the field with an ankle injury as did fellow tight end, D.C. Jefferson. Unfortunately, the list doesn't end there: Defensive end/outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy suffered an ankle injury along with defensive tackle Dan Williams. Williams has been trying to get back on the field after suffering an ankle injury early in training camp. Let's hope this one isn't too serious. And finally, receiver Andre Roberts was limping around the sidelines struggling with a quad pull.
Today, the Cardinals made some roster moves, obviously deciding that it's not worth waiting until Tuesday's mandatory cut-down date. The Cards announced the following roster moves this afternoon:
Gone are: Tackle Joe Caprioglio, kicker Dan Carpenter, receivers Jarett Dillard and Nick Edwards, center Deveric Gallington, defensive end Cordian Hagans, linebacker Korey Jones, defensive tackle Jonathan Mathis, quarterback Caleb Terbush and cornerback Ronnie Yell. The team also moved linebacker Dan Giordano to the reserve/physically unable to perform list. (PUP)
The Cardinals wrap up the preseason portion of the schedule this Thursday night in Denver. You can watch that game on ABC15 starting at 6:00 p.m.