The Cardinals have had 10 rookies start games this season and very possibly will have 11 before the end of the year.
The Arizona Cardinals have had to rely on their rookie class more than they have been willing to in many years. Part of it has been by plan and part has been out of necessity.
They have had 10 different rookies start games this season, the highest total in the league.
The breakdown by position has gone like this:
- QB: 1
- RB: 1
- WR: 1
- TE: 1
- OL: 1
- DL: 1
- CB: 4
Fifth-round pick Clayton Tune started a game at quarterback.
Undrafted rookie running back Emari Demercado has started twice.
Third-round pick Michael Wilson has started eight of the nine games in which he has played.
Undrafted rookie Elijah Higgins started a game at tight end.
First-round pick Paris Johnson has started all 13 games at right tackle and has played every single offensive snap this season.
Sixth-round pick Dante Stills has started six of 12 games he has appeared in.
Third-round pick Garrett Williams has now started four times in seven games at cornerback since coming off the NFI list.
Sixth-round pick Kei’Trel Clark began the season as a starting cornerback, was benched and then worked his back into the starting lineup. He has played in 10 games and has seven starts.
Undrafted rookie cornerback Starling Thomas started three games before getting hurt and missing the game against the Steelers.
The 10th rookie to start was undrafted cornerback Divaad Wilson. He started on Sunday after being elevated from the practice squad.
The Cardinals have two rookie linebackers, second-round pick BJ Ojulari and fifth-round pick Owen Pappoe. They have not yet started a game.
It would be no surprise to see Ojulari get a start in the final four games after the bye week. Pappoe just recently found a role on defense in the last two weeks, playing in their all-linebacker nickel/dime defense. Unless there is another injury at inside linebacker, he probably will not start.
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