Kurt Warner is in Canton. His extended family is not.
Warner tried to use his newly acquired Hall of Fame clout (piled on top of his NFL Network and Super Bowl champion clout) to sway a major airline company to squeeze his traveling party of 13 onto the last flight to Cleveland in order to get them to Canton in time for Enshrinement Weekend. Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill didn’t wait to take matters into his own hands.
Warner experienced a career renaissance in the desert while a member of the Cardinals, bringing the franchise its first NFC title in Arizona. The Cardinals were one fantastic two-minute drill and incredible Santonio Holmes touchdown catch from bringing home the Lombardi Trophy, with much thanks due to Warner. Bidwill is returning the favor again, though the Cardinals didn’t say how many of Warner’s traveling party will actually make it to Canton.
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Arians added that backup quarterback Drew Stanton will also sit out the first preseason game. The Cards plan for Blaine Gabbert to start under center and play the first half with undrafted rookie Trevor Knight taking snaps in the second half.
It’s become the norm for coaches to rest most, if not all, of their starters for the Hall of Fame Game. With four preseason contests following the HOF tilt, the Cardinals have plenty of time to get their starters in game shape before their Week 1 battle with the Detroit Lions.
Johnson and his wife, Meaghan, moved to a plant-based diet after binging on What the Health and Forks Over Knives, another Netflix documentary. Johnson is part of a growing trend of professional athletes who are cutting back on or entirely removing meat from their diets.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is probably the league’s poster boy of this movement; a part of his fledgling lifestyle empire is built around meat-free dietary choices. Aaron Rodgers has followed a similar path.
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“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Johnson said. “I thought it would definitely be hard just because, as Americans, we’re taught to eat a whole bunch of meat. It’s not even just eating meat, it’s the portions. What I’ve learned is that we’re taught eating like 24 ounces of steak is a manly thing, when really you’re only supposed to eat 8 to 10 as a portion.”
So while you shouldn’t expect the Johnsons to be lining up at Chick-fil-A any time soon, just know that plantmania hasn’t taken full hold on the Arizona Cardinals.
The fourth-year pro isn’t practicing yet, per the team’s official website, but was able to take part in a walkthrough. Coach Bruce Arians said the hope is for the versatile linebacker to practice next week prior to the team’s final preseason game.
Arians said earlier this month Bucannon was on target for the regular-season opener, Sept. 10 in Detroit, but that timeline remains something the team will decide moving forward.
“We haven’t been counting on Deone,” Arians said. “That’s going to be a blessing [if he plays].”
Bucannon’s absence has allowed rookie Haason Reddick to gain some valuable reps with the first team unit. The rookie linebacker displayed good read-and-react instincts during Saturday’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears.
When Bucannon eventually returns to the lineup full time, the Cardinals will boast one of the liveliest back seven defenses in the entire NFL.