NFC Notes: Cardinals, Falcons, 49ers

     

Cardinals

The Cardinals have tried to surround rookie first-round QB Kyler Murray with an experienced offensive line. All five projected starters on the line — LT D.J. Humphries, G J.R. Sweezy, C A.Q. Shipley, G Justin Pugh and RT Marcus Gilbert — have at least five years of experience. 

“Guys that have six, seven, eight, 10 years, that goes a long way, particularly with a young quarterback,” HC Kliff Kingsbury said via Darren Urban of the official team website. “That’s definitely been a bright spot so far.”

  • According to Urban, LB Pete Robertson has put himself in the mix for one of the backup outside linebacker positions. Robertson received praise from Kingsbury: “I think he has some real pass-rush ability. Tough player and can give us special teams value. It’s a dogfight there at some of those outside linebacker positions. He’s a guy that’s been consistent, he’s been available, and just needs to keep progressing.”
  • The Athletic’s Scott Bordow says the top three receivers for the Cardinals are pretty locked in as Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and sixth-round rookie WR KeeSean Johnson
  • Bordow mentions second-round WR Andy Isabella and fourth-round WR Hakeem Butler have had good flashes, but have struggled with drops at times. 
  • Bordow notes that Kingsbury has mentioned seven as the final number at wide receiver, meaning Kevin White, Trent Sherfield, Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper are likely competing for two spots. 
  • Bordow doesn’t believe WR Chad Williams will make the team. 

Falcons

  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn said first-round OT Kaleb McGary‘s heart procedure went well. There’s no timetable on his return, but Quinn says Atlanta is “by no means” planning to redshirt McGary, per Mike Garafolo.
  • Quinn said Week 1 is still a possibility for McGary, though it’s too early to tell for sure. (Kelsey Conway)
  • Falcons G James Carpenter suffered a hip flexor injury. (Vaughn McClure)

49ers

For as integral as they’re seen to the fortunes of the team this year, the 49ers could easily move on from both HC Kyle Shanahan and QB Jimmy Garoppolo after this season if the team struggles. A rash of injuries, including Garoppolo going down with a torn ACL in Wek 3 last year, have kept some of the heat off of the 49ers, but expectations are high in 2019. Shanahan says it’s time to win, with an unspoken “or else” looming after that. 

“I mean, he’s right,” Garoppolo said via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “Bottom line, that’s what this game is about. It’s about production, going out there and getting wins, and playing good football out on the field. It’s that time of year again.”

  • 49ers DE Dee Ford had platelet-rich-plasma injections in his sore knee and will be out for another week. (Eric Branch)

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