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Cardinals rookie DT Robert Nkemdiche starts training camp day-to-day with sprained ankle

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals' first-round pick watched their conditioning test from the sideline Thursday.

Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche sprained an ankle two days ago, coach Bruce Arians said, in a team period during the first day of Arizona’s quarterback school. He’s listed as day-to-day, but the severity of the injury still up in the air.

“You never know with those things,” Arians said. “Each guy you got to figure out, find out about them.”

Aside from Nkemdiche, the four Cardinals on the preseason physically unable to perform list and some of the players who participated earlier this week, “everybody was here,” Arians said ahead of Friday's first training-camp practice.

And they all looked good, the coach added.

“It’s nice not to have that one fat guy you got to cheer for to see if he can make it -- unless his name is Casey Hampton, then that’d be alright then,” Arians said. “But, no, they came back in great shape. Guys obviously worked extremely hard since I saw them last and we’re ready to go.”

The conditioning test took about 40 minutes and included groups of players working on multiple fields at University of Phoenix Stadium. Most players took part in warm-up runs, but not all went through the actual run test.

“Nobody [was] even close to not making it,” Arians said.

  • Cornerback Justin Bethel, who underwent foot surgery in April, suffered a setback three weeks ago, which is why he’s starting camp on the PUP list. “It’s just a matter of pain tolerance still,” Arians said.

  • The Cardinals are not in a rush to see veteran defensive tackle Frostee Rucker return to training camp from offseason ankle surgery. He suffered the injury in Week 11 last season and was among the four listed on the preseason PUP list. “Really, at his time in his career there’s not a need to go early," Arians said. "Just take our time with him.”