The Arizona Cardinals will be facing off against the New Orleans Saints this weekend. This week's game could be the least predictable of the year as teams head into the final game of the preseason. Will they look at the third game as the final game before Week One and not play starters or will they look at this game as a game still two weeks away from the opener with plenty of time for recovery?
From injuries to starters to who to watch, here's a preview of what to expect when the Saints square off against the Cardinals.
Previewing Arizona Cardinals versus New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Injuries
Overall, the team is in relatively good shape. The most notable injury is to DeAndre Hopkins, who is listed as questionable on ESPN's unofficial injury report. Tight end Maxx Williams and Justin Pugh are also facing injury concerns. Pugh has been ruled out while Williams remains questionable with a non-covid illness.
Arizona Cardinals starters
It would be a surprise if DeAndre Hopkins sees the field in this game. Additionally, the Cardinals may hold out Kyler Murray. He didn't play in Week One and only threw the ball four times in Week Two. Kliff Kingsbury is likely inclined to hold out Murray in this game. If Murray does see the field, it will likely be as brief of an appearance as in Week Two.
Otherwise, only a few starters are likely to see the field this weekend for a brief time. Lastly, it goes without saying but JJ Watt will almost assuredly not be playing.
Arizona Cardinals: who to watch
At this point in the preseason, many of the position battles are winding their way down. With every passing day, the roster is becoming more solidified. That said, it is worth paying attention to Rondale Moore and Andy Isabella.
Rondale Moore is currently competing to win the starting kick and punt returning positions. Meanwhile, Isabella is attempting to make the coaches think twice before encasing Christian Kirk in cement as the third-string receiver.
New Orleans Saints Injuries
The Saints have had some issues with injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Of course, Michael Thomas will be out for quite some time. Additionally, Tre'Quan Smith, Adam Trautman, and Nick Vannett are all questionable, according to ESPN.
On defense, however, the Saints are almost 100 percent with their starters. The only starter with any issues will be cornerback Ken Crawley, who is expected to be out for a couple of weeks.
The Saints will also be without kicker Wil Lutz, who could be out for up to eight weeks with a core injury that may require surgery.
New Orleans Saints starters
Jameis Winston has won the starting quarterback job over Taysom Hill. While it pretty much guarantees Hill will get some playing time in this game, the jury is still out on Winston. In 2019's preseason, Drew Brees played in the third game but not the final game. Will Sean Payton look at Week three as the third game or the final game?
It would make sense for the Saints to start Winston to help him build chemistry and get focused for Week One. If he does play, only expect a half of football or less from him.
New Orleans Saints: who to watch
Keep an eye on Taysom Hill. This game will be his best chance to show the Saints what they're going to be missing out on in 2021. Will Hill ball out in an act of protest or will he go into a shell and sleepwalk through the game? How he plays this game could show what kind of state he will be in for his special packages that Sean Payton will be using in 2021.
Additionally, keep an eye on Aldrick Rosas. How Lutz's replacement plays in this game could be an accurate preview of how well he does in the regular season.
Arizona Cardinals versus New Orleans Saints prediction
The Cardinals and the Saints will not see much from their starters in this game. However, Taysom Hill has show a lot of flash in the NFL. Angered by the decision to start Jameis Winston, Hill will come out firing for a dominating performance. Cardinals backup Colt McCoy will be unable to hang and the Cardinals will lose by two touchdowns.