It looks like the Arizona Cardinals will have to turn to their third man on the depth chart at free safety, as Cardinals official site beat writer Darren Urban tweeted yesterday that veteran Rashad Johnson has been listed doubtful with an ankle injury. Johnson has been the main starter this season and became more important when Tyrann Mathieu went down for the rest of the season, but he is essentially out for tomorrow’s big game against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s been solid in coverage this season, so it will be up to Oklahoma Sooners rookie Tony Jefferson to be the next man up, unless if the Cardinals decide to play veteran Yeremiah Bell at FS.
Jefferson projects to be a significantly better fit at free safety than Bell, because Bell is not good in coverage at all at this stage of his career. And although Jefferson went undrafted, he was an extremely talented player at Oklahoma and was even rated as a top-five safety early in the pre-draft process last year.
Rashad Johnson suffered a high-ankle sprain in last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans, and he was never expected to play this week; the doubtful listing is just confirmation that Johnson will almost certainly be out. We’ll see if the Cardinals elect to go with Jefferson or Bell, and they will be put to the test against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.