THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – It's hard enough to having to deal with injuries along the interior of the offensive line. Add in a matchup against Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and the challenge becomes even greater for the Cardinals as head coach Kliff Kingsbury assembles their gameplan for the week.
"I think it changes any game you go into with that many pieces out," Kingsbury told Arizona reporters Wednesday. "But particularly, you're playing one of the best defensive players in the history of the league, and he's as good as he's ever been. Whatever plan people have for him going in, it never seems to work, and we'll do the best job we can of making sure we know where he's at on every snap, trying to contain him."
Starting center Rodney Hudson is not expected to play in this Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium (1:25 p.m. pacific time, FOX), and Kingsbury has already ruled out starting guard Will Hernandez, who exited last week's loss to the Seahawks with a pectoral injury. Meanwhile, the Cardinals' other starting guard, Justin Pugh, was lost for the season with a torn Achilles in Week 6.
Donald already made his presence felt going against a healthy Arizona offensive line in Week 3 with six total tackles (two for loss), one sack and one QB hit in Los Angeles' 20-12 victory at State Farm Stadium. Kingsbury's comments also indicate Donald's three-sack performance in the two teams' second matchup last season isn't lost on the Cardinals head coach, either.
"He's going to make his plays, and we understand that," Kingsbury said. "We just have to have a good plan in place to try and continue to stay on schedule and not let those plays just wreck the game, which they have in the past."