GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The primary time Christian Kirk returned a punt in faculty, he took it again for a landing. He virtually did it once more on his first contact within the NFL.

“I used to be considering to myself ‘It is going down once more,'” the fast Arizona rookie mentioned.

Now not reasonably.

He slipped creating a transfer, towards the punter (a former faculty teammate) no much less, however the 38-yard go back arrange a landing power within the first-team offense’s simplest collection of the sport, and the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 of their preseason opener on Saturday night time.

Rookie Josh Rosen finished 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards in his Arizona debut, taking part in the entire first part after the outlet collection.

“There is a large number of issues he is going so as to be informed and develop from off this primary recreation, staring at the tape,” Cardinals first-year trainer Steve Wilks mentioned. “We predict him to recuperate, along side myself and everyone else.”

Geno Smith, combating Cardale Jones for the backup activity at the back of the Chargers’ Philip Rivers, finished 14 of 23 passes for 218 yards, together with a 47-yard landing throw to Geremy Davis . He used to be intercepted as soon as.

With Rivers sitting this one out, Jones began and performed just about all of the first part, finishing 6 of 12 passes for 50 yards.

“Someday, I wish to know what we now have in Cardale Jones,” trainer Anthony Lynn mentioned. “He got here into this league and he is by no means truly been given a sound alternative, for my part. I wish to give him that chance.”

Kirk, Arizona’s second-round draft select of Texas A&M, took the Chargers’ early punt and broke loose . He would possibly have taken it the entire means had he no longer slipped seeking to make a transfer towards Los Angeles punter Drew Kaser, Kirk’s teammate at Texas A&M.

Kirk almost definitely will have run proper previous Kaser.

“I gave him the advantage of the doubt, concept he may run just a little bit,” Kirk joked.

“He concept I used to be going to stay working, too. It is surely disappointing, clearly, while you suppose you had a possibility to get after all zone, particularly on my first contact.”

Arizona’s David Johnson reeled off a couple of 14-yard runs at the first two performs, his simplest carries of the night time, and rookie Chase Edmonds scored on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Edmonds used to be hit at the back of the road of scrimmage however used a moment effort to slightly stretch the ball over the target line.

Sam Bradford, making his debut as Arizona’s beginning quarterback, directed the scoring power in his Cardinals debut however most commonly passed the ball off. He finished his simplest cross for six yards.

Arizona’s moment landing got here within the 0.33 quarter when Jeremy Money returned a fumble 12 yards for a ranking. Later within the quarter, Money used to be carted off the sector with a knee damage.

Charles Kanoff, an undrafted rookie out of Princeton, threw a 14-yard TD cross to Bryce Williams for the go-ahead ranking with 10:06 to play. The sport ended when Chargers QB Nic Shimonek used to be tackled on the Arizona 2-yard line.

Arizona used to be zero for 11 on third-down conversions.


Rosen did not get a lot assist from his offensive line or his receivers, having to dodge the frenzy to get a cross off. He had two passes dropped.

Daniel Munyer, the backup heart now that rookie Mason Cole is a starter, had hassle with shotgun formation snaps, again and again rolling the ball to the quarterback. Cole took over when A.Q. Shipley went down with a torn ACL in coaching camp.

“I believe I did some just right issues and a few unhealthy issues,” Rosen mentioned.


Los Angeles left take on Russell Okung raised his proper first throughout the nationwide anthem.

Okung stood at the back of the remainder of the gamers, who had coated up at the sideline. He used to be the one participant on both sides to protest visibly.

Okung is a member of the manager committee of the NFL gamers’ union.


Los Angeles grew to become the ball over 4 instances, 3 times on fumbles and as soon as on an interception.

The Chargers additionally had been penalized 15 instances for 155 yards. Arizona had one turnover and 11 consequences for 110 yards.

“You have to inform it used to be surely preseason week one,” Lynn mentioned. “It used to be too sloppy.”


Chargers: are house towards the Seattle Seahawks subsequent Saturday night time.

Cardinals: play at New Orleans on Friday night time.


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