We’ve heard the joke a million times, so please stop sending it. The Cardinals have a bye this week, and Las Vegas is listing them as seven-point underdogs. We get it. Mired in a painful seven-game losing streak, the Arizona Cardinals are due a week away from competition.
When the team returns to University of Phoenix Stadium Nov. 12 against the Dallas Cowboys, it will do so with the same coach on the sideline and a few familiar faces back in the huddle.
They probably won’t be playing for a postseason berth as they had hoped in the preseason. So what’s left?
“Just self respect really,” receiver Anquan Boldin said. “The season is nowhere near over. We played half a season, and we still have another half to go. People who think we’re going to pull the team (off the field), take it in, are completely wrong.”
After seven straight losses and rising speculation about coach Dennis Green’s job security, the team could use a week off.
“It’ll be good for us,” linebacker Karlos Dansby said. “Perfect timing.”
The Cardinals should return to the field reinforced by the healthy return of three key players. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been out three games with a hamstring injury, defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy has missed three games with an ankle injury and Dansby has sat one game with a hip injury.
All three are expected back against the Cowboys.
“Hopefully that’ll make a difference,” Green said. “Those are three pretty good football players.”
Arizona will get back guard Milford Brown, who has missed three games with an ankle injury. He dressed Sunday but didn’t get in the game.
Green said Brown will return to the starting lineup not at his right guard spot but left guard. Chris Liwienski played there Sunday. The rest of the offensive line should remain the same, with rookie Deuce Lutui getting his second career start at right guard.
As for Green, it appears he will keep his job — at least for the time being.
“In talking today with some of our leaders in the locker room and the coaching staff, it is clear they share the same frustration and disappointment that we all do because we are not winning,” said Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill. “But it is also clear they plan to keep fighting to win through the second half of the season and have no intention of giving up. This is our approach as well. I do not believe a coaching change imp roves our chances of winning against the Cowboys or any game in the second half of the season, and winning is our number one goal.”
Green, for his part, managed to sidestep most questions about his future with the team during his weekly press conference Monday morning.
“It’s my job to coach the football team right now,” he said, “and that’s what I’ll do.”