Arizona Cardinals running back D.J. Foster, who was carted off the field during Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys with a knee injury, has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, coach Steve Wilks said Monday.
“Just personally for him, really disappointed and saddened for him because he had a great training camp,” Wilks said. “He was performing well, doing some things even on special teams. He was standing out there as well. He had some good runs last week.”
Foster was running downfield to cover a kickoff when he was met by two Cowboys players and buckled to the turf, grabbing at his knee.
Foster, who starred at Scottsdale Saguaro High School and Arizona State before joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots, is in his third year in the league and second with the Cardinals.
Foster has 13 carries for 43 yards and 18 receptions for 135 yards in his career.
He was listed as the team’s third-string running back on the Cardinals’ latest depth chart.
“It’s a major hit to the room. Anytime you lose a guy, it’s disappointing, and the guys feel it as well,” Wilks said. “We just have to be able to step up in this room and continue to move forward. I think Chase (Edmonds) did some good things last night, and I’m very excited about that, but definitely unfortunate for D.J.”
Foster tweeted the following message Monday:
“I’ve never been through an injury like this before, and it’s amazing to see all the support and love I’ve already received. I’ll always take God’s journey and plan and keep my faith!”
Along with Edmonds, Wilks said he liked what he saw out of T.J. Logan, who will likely slide into Foster’s spot on the third team. Logan had a 59-yard touchdown run on Sunday. He’s also the team’s starting kick returner.
“He showed some of the things that he showed in college,” Wilks said. “Very explosive. He has speed to take the distance, which you saw last night. He gives you some flexibility in the kicking game from the standpoint of a return guy.
“He’s been doing some good things; he’s been flashing. So now he’s going to have some more opportunities to step up.”
Talking ’bout practice
The Cardinals’ eight takeaways against the Cowboys and 16 total in the preseason certainly look good on paper. Still, that comes with some caveats. It is the preseason, after all, and the Cowboys elected to sit a number of their starters.
Wilks isn’t worried about that. While he understands that these stats need to be put in context, he also thinks the takeaway ratio is indicative of what the Cardinals have been practicing all offseason.
“It’s really the standard that we’ve set,” he said. “It’s what we’re emphasizing. It’s what we teach and what we preach as coaches – taking the ball away. We create drills for that. Coach Holcomb and the defensive staff work on that daily.”
Wilks looks to cornerback Patrick Peterson as a perfect example. Peterson had a pick-six and a forced fumble Sunday. For Wilks and others who have watched Peterson during training camp, the highlight-reel interception wasn’t unfamiliar.
“I just finished showing the team the interception that Patrick had, and I backed it with the interception that he had in practice on the exact same sideline,” Wilks said. “So I always say, ‘In order to something in the game, you have to first do it in practice.’
“This guy is practicing at a high level.”
Peterson has been hungry to have his stats reflect his high-level of play. With the chance to roam the field more in a 4-3 defense, Wilks sees the seven-time Pro Bowler playing joyfully.
“He’s loving football right now. … I can just tell from his demeanor and how he’s practicing,” Wilks said. “I’m excited about the things he’s doing.”
Moats nursing MCL; Rosen still TBD
While the Foster news was the biggest injury update of the day, Wilks provided some other updates, as well.
Defensive end Arthur Moats has a sprained MCL, according to Wilks. Wilks expects it will be “maybe two to four weeks” before he’s back.
On top of that, Wilks said they are still deciding what action, if any, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen will see on Thursday. Rosen did not play on Sunday after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand during practice the previous week. He’s still day-to-day.
It’s a balancing act for Wilks, who does not want to risk Rosen’s health, but also wants to make sure the young quarterback is getting the reps his needs as far as timing.
“We want to make sure he has the opportunity to go out there and keep the mechanics and the things that we’ve expressed throughout training camp, the things that he’s built upon so far,” Wilks said. “I don’t want him to lose that. So I’m still debating right now whether or not he’s going to play, and if he does, how much.”
Thursday night: Take one
This week’s turnaround from playing at Dallas on Sunday to Thursday night’s home game against the Broncos will give the Cardinals a good blueprint for later in the year.
In October, the Cardinals will have their lone Thursday night game of the season: a home bout that is also against the Broncos. That will come four days after they play on the road in Minnesota. Wilks is using this week to prep players for that shortened week.
“It’s not far off at all,” Wilks said. “From a coaching standpoint and we operate the week … it is a dress rehearsal. The only difference is we’ll come back today and we’ll actually have a walk-through. Then the rest of the week will be the same, and the opponent will be the same, so that’s good as well.”