Veteran Tramaine Brock is expected to get the first shot at earning a starting role for the Arizona Cardinals as they prepare to play their first six games of 2019 with star cornerback Patrick Peterson suspended, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Of course, a lot could change between now and Sept. 8, when Arizona opens the regular season by hosting the Detroit Lions. The news, however, does mean that Brock is expected to step on the field as a starter Monday when the Cardinals open voluntary organized team activities (OTAs).
Brock signed a one-year deal with Arizona on April 2, at the time appearing as an option to play the nickel position with Peterson and offseason signing Robert Alford in tow.
Since, the Cardinals have added depth at cornerback by drafting Byron Murphy with their second-round pick at 33rd overall. He was expected to be the top candidate to step into a cornerback slot with Peterson suspended.
Murphy, plus veterans David Amerson and Josh Shaw, are among the players who could also compete for nickelback or starting cornerback roles if Brock does not win the job.
Peterson was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the Cardinals announced Thursday. He is not expected to attend OTAs but will be with the team when mandatory camp begins June 11, according to Rapoport.
During a media gathering for a charity event on Thursday, Peterson said he “has to be a father” during OTAs but suggested he will return to the team for mandatory mini-camp.
For now, Brock will join Alford as a starting cornerback as Arizona begins its first practices that include both veterans and rookies.
A 10-year NFL veteran, Brock spent his first seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before playing in Minnesota (2017) and Denver (2018). Last year, Brock played for then-Broncos head coach and current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. He recorded 23 tackles with six passes defensed in 12 games.