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    Cardinals QB Gabbert looks forward to starting Hall of Fame Game

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    Cardinals’ Bruce Arians recaps Tuesday’s practice

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    Kent Somers and Bob McManaman break down Cardinals practice

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It’s not very often that a rookie does enough in his first NFL preseason game to win a spot on the 53-man roster. It’s even rarer for a fifth-round pick. And it’s completely unprecedented in Bruce Arians’ tenure as head coach of the Cardinals.

Arians doesn’t like rookies at all – at least until Thanksgiving when they’ve learned enough to maybe be trusted.

Rookie running back T.J. Logan, however, impressed Arians enough during Thursday’s exhibition game against the Cowboys in Canton, Ohio that the coach said Logan wouldn’t just make the team at running back, but that he had won the No.1 kick-return duties on both kickoffs and punts.

Unfortunately, Logan suffered a dislocated wrist while pass blocking in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game and will be placed on injured reserve. He will undergo surgery and be sidelined up to 12 weeks. Arians said Logan will be eligible to activate off injured reserve at or around Week 8 of the regular season.

“It’s a blow to him. He was just about to make a nice role for himself,” Arians said after the Cardinals practiced outdoors Saturday morning at University of Phoenix Stadium. “He obviously looked electric on the kick returns and the punt returns, so somebody else is just going to have to step up and do it.”

Arians said the top four options for kickoff-return duty are running back Kerwynn Williams, receiver John Brown, when he’s healthy enough to resume practicing, rookie receiver Chad Williams and rookie defensive back Rudy Ford.

Logan returned two kickoffs against the Cowboys for 71 yards, including one for a 43-yard gain. He also returned one punt for 10 yards and rushed four times for a team-high 24 yards.

“You never want to see a teammate go down like that, especially someone who was playing as well as he was,” Williams, the team’s fourth-year back, said. “Seeing him go down like that when he was playing so hard, it’s always tough.”

David Johnson, the Cardinals’ starting running back, echoed those sentiments after watching Logan play from the sideline.

“T.J. was having a great game. He was reading the holes right and did a good job running the ball,” Johnson said. “He was especially great on kick returns. He looked like he was getting in the groove. He showed it.

“I can see why he would be our kick returner or punt returner. He’s fast, first off, and as a running back he knows how to hit the holes on the run. He’s good.”

But now he’s sidelined indefinitely, which throws a whole new mix into the competition at running back. Last season, the Cardinals only kept four backs and it sounds like that will be their plan this year as well. That’s because Arians on Saturday also said everyone besides Johnson is in the hunt for the final three spots at the position.

“Nobody’s really got a hand (up) other than David,” he said.

Arians was asked if that meant not even veteran Chris Johnson is guaranteed a spot.

“Yeah, sure. Nothing’s guaranteed,” he said.

Unless he gets hurt, it can be largely assumed Chris Johnson will break camp with the Cardinals as the No.2 running back. Behind him, it figures to be fierce competition for the final two spots between Williams, Andre Ellington and Elijhaa Penny with rookie James Summers viewed as a tremendous long shot.

Williams and Ellington have more experience than the other two, which may give them an edge. But Penny is intriguing because he patterns his game after David Johnson and looks an awful lot like the rising NFL star, especially his body type and ability to bounce off linebackers and slap them to the ground.

Arians, however, mentioned that Penny is still practice-squad eligible, which is a nice way of saying the team has the luxury of keeping him around even if he doesn’t crack the final 53-man roster.

“All I know is that it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough choices,” David Johnson said. “All the running backs are good. I don’t know how many they’re going to keep – who knows? – but I know it’s probably going to be the hardest choice to make cuts at any position just because all our backs are so good.”

Arians said as much.

“Oh yeah, it’s going to be real tough because everybody’s explosive. They all pass-block well. They can catch. It’s going to be who stays healthy.”

More: No, Cardinals running back Andre Ellington isn’t a New York Jet

More: QB Blaine Gabbert impresses in Arizona Cardinals preseason debut

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Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.