NFL Wire News

Cardinals CB Powers out; Bethel to start vs. Browns

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TEMPE, Ariz. — With cornerback Jerraud Powers of the Arizona Cardinals out because of a hamstring injury, cornerback Justin Bethel will make his first NFL start against on the road against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Bethel, in his fourth season, has made the Pro Bowl twice as a special teamer. How he plays while Powers is out will help determine his worth when his contract is addressed.

For the Cardinals, the immediate concern is depth. Rookie Cariel Brooks is the only healthy backup cornerback.

“Well, the concern would be the next injury or two,” coach Bruce Arians said. “We feel that Cariel Brooks has really improved and is ready to go as a backup. Beyond that, we’ll be shuffling a lot of guys around.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Justin (Bethel) to handle the corner. We have so much flexibility at safety with Ty (Mathieu) being able to play corner and we have enough guys to do that.

“It’d be two injuries where we’d be spinning the bottle to find somebody to play back there.”

–Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the coaches’ headsets went out in the final minutes against the Cardinals on Monday night. The Cardinals headsets worked, and the NFL never asked them to shut them off because of the Ravens’ problems.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was unsympathetic.

“They happen a lot on the road,” he said of communication problems. “One time in Baltimore, I had a hot dog vendor on a critical fourth-and-one call. The hot dog vendor came on and started talking about how they needed hot dogs in some section and we couldn’t get the play call. A coincidence.”

NOTES: Wide receiver John Brown (hamstrings) has played through the injuries the last two weeks, but he’s hurting. The Cardinals could decide to sit him against the Browns and hope two weeks’ rest will bring Brown back to 100 percent. … Tight end Alex Okafor (calf) might be able to play this week after missing two games. Rookie Markus Golden has played well in Okafor’s place. … Tight end Darren Fells (shoulder) probably will miss a second consecutive game. Tight end Jermaine Gresham will start in his place. … Wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) missed practice time this week but should be able to play on Sunday against the Browns. He is the team’s fifth receiver, so his biggest contributions are on special teams. … Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (quadriceps) missed practice time this week but should be able to play against the Browns. … Center Lyle Sendlein (ankle) missed practice time this week but also is expected to play. … Putside linebacker Dwight Freeney (finger) was limited in practice this week but will play against the Browns. … Safety Deone Bucannon (elbow) was limited in practice this week but will play on Sunday. … Guard Jonathan Cooper is coming off his best game in three NFL seasons. Cooper has been decent this year, but has not played up to expectations for a seventh-overall pick.

Running back Chris Johnson has rushed for 567 yards, second most in the NFL. His 5.11-yard average is the most of any player with at least 100 carries. … Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has scored six touchdowns this season. He is five away from 100 touchdowns for his career.


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