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Cardinals CB Robert Alford out 2 months with leg injury

Robert Alford, Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals will be without their starting cornerback tandem for the start of the regular season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, starting cornerback Robert Alford is out two months with a leg injury. He did not play in Thursday night’s 33-26 preseason loss to the Oakland Raiders.

The injury is a debilitating blow to a cornerback room that will be without eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson for the first six games of the regular season. The NFL handed Peterson a suspension on May 16th for a violation of the performance-enhancing drugs policy. He filed an appeal that he later lost.

Alford’s two-month timetable to return aligns directly with Peterson’s first eligible game: Week 7, against the New York Giants on October 20.

Alford was expected to step into the No. 1 cornerback role for those six games. The Cardinals signed the former Falcon to a three-year, $22.5 million contract after Atlanta released him early in the 2019 offseason.

The Falcons selected Alford in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Southeastern Louisiana. He played 88 games for the Falcons and started in their Super Bowl 51 loss. In that span, he started 76 games and tallied 295 combined tackles, 10 interceptions, 85 pass deflections, and a forced fumble.

In 2018, Alford played and started in 15 games. He recorded 50 combined tackles and 11 pass deflections on the year.

To replace Alford, the Cardinals will likely bump up rookie Byron Murphy from the No. 2 job (with Peterson gone) to No. 1. The No. 33 overall pick will get to show why he was drafted so highly.