W2W4: Arizona Cardinals

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
12:00
PM ET
The Arizona Cardinals (1-2) and San Diego Chargers (1-2) close the preseason Thursday night (10 ET) at Qualcomm Stadium.

1. Healthy returns? While the large majority of starters won't be playing Thursday night, it looks like linebacker Kevin Minter, nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu and guard Jonathan Cooper will take the field for about 20-25 snaps at most in San Diego. All three are coming off injuries that caused them to miss a couple games (Minter and Cooper) or the past eight months (Ta'amu). Arians wants them to get game reps before sending them out for "Monday Night Football." It's still uncertain if safety Tyrann Mathieu will play. Arians said Mathieu is "day-to-day" and the team would make a decision after Wednesday's workout.

2. Final rehearsal. Thursday night will be the last chance for 22 players to make a lasting impression -- or at least one deep enough to get through final cuts. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said there are about five positions that will be tougher to cut than others, including defensive backs, wide receiver, offensive tackles and defensive line. There are about seven players who are firmly sitting on the fence. Wide receivers Dan Buckner, Brittan Golden and Walt Powell; safety Curtis Taylor; cornerback Teddy Williams and tackles Nate Potter and Bradley Sowell could just as easily make the 53-man roster as they could be cut.

3. Thomas starting. Logan Thomas will have all four quarters to himself Thursday night. With quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton getting the game off, Thomas will start and go the duration. Arizona tailored the playbook toward him, hoping he can repeat his performance against Houston, rather than his outing against Cincinnati. Having a full game to evaluate Thomas will give Arizona important film to work on for the next few months as they continue to prep and mold him to be the team's future starter. Thursday night will also give Thomas a chance to prove to the naysayers he's capable of being a quarterback at the NFL level.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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