By Danny Cox
The Arizona Cardinals had a bye in the first round of the playoffs and are now ready to face off with the Green Bay Packers with an injury report that includes just five names, and none of them missed even one day of practice this week.
Quarterback Carson Palmer did appear on the injury report due to a right finger injury. The injury is actually a previous dislocation of the finger, but he ended up practicing in full every day of the week. He’s listed as probable and is in place to start on Saturday.
Guard Mike Iupati is listed as probable as well with a shoulder injury, but he practiced in full on Thursday and Friday. He was only limited on Wednesday.
Outside linebacker Markus Golden is listed as probable with a knee injury, and he had missed a little bit of time, but returned to practice this week. He did wear a knee brace during this week’s practice and will have one on during the game as well.
Golden’s presence on the field is extremely important after Alex Okafor was lost for the season with a toe injury that happened off of the field this past weekend. The Cardinals went out and signed veteran linebacker Jason Babin, but Golden will be relied heavily upon to lead the linebacking corps.
Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker was limited in practice every single day of this week and he is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game with the Packers. His ankle is nagging him and not allowing him to go fully, but he may be in good enough shape to play a limited amount of snaps in the game.
Josh Mauro is another defensive tackle dealing with an injury as he’s had a calf issue bothering him. He is being listed as questionable for the game with Green Bay, and practiced on a limited basis all week.
One bit of good news is that running back Chris Johnson returned to practice this week. This was the first time he was eligible to return to practice after being placed on the injured reserve but designated to return list. If the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl, he could be activated to play then.
The Cardinals have lost a number of players to injured reserve, but have a healthy active roster and are ready for the Green Bay Packers.
Markus Golden, LB (knee)
Carson Palmer, QB (right finger)
Mike Iupati, G (shoulder)
Josh Mauro, DT (calf)
Frostee Rucker, DT (ankle)
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.