Cardinals place OLB Woodley on IR, sign DT Bryant
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have placed outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on season-ending injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle and signed longtime Seahawks defensive tackle Red Bryant.
Woodley appeared in all 10 games, mostly as a starter, before being injured Sunday night against Cincinnati. The nine-year NFL veteran had 14 tackles, four solo, and one sack.
The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Bryant started all 16 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, when he had 22 tackles, one forced fumble and two tackles for loss. Before that, he was a fixture on Seattle’s defensive line and a member of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl championship team in the 2013 season.
Bryant said he was in his Texas hometown preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family when he got a call from the Cardinals on Wednesday. The team flew him to Arizona that evening, worked him out Thursday morning, signed him to a contract and he practiced with his new teammates Thursday.
“To have a guy of high caliber, we all know what his history is,” defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. “He’s a physical hard guy to move, has played winning football, understands what it takes to win and can help reinforce that winning culture here that we’re building.”
Bryant adds needed depth with three defensive linemen nursing injuries. Frostee Rucker (ankle), Cory Redding (ankle), Ed Stinson (groin) have not practiced this week.
Bryant said he always had respect for the Cardinals when he was with the Seahawks, noting that Arizona was the only team to win in Seattle that Super Bowl championship season.
After leaving Jacksonville, Bryant said, he had a chance to sign with New England.
“A great organization,” Bryant said, “I was just in a bad head space at the time and I really thought I wanted to retire. I really had a heart-to-heart with my wife who convinced me to give it one more shot.”
He was with Buffalo in training camp but was released by the Bills on Sept. 5.
“I wasn’t in the best shape and couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity,” Bryant said.
He said he’s in decent shape now, but not in the best football shape.
“The only way you get in football shape is by playing,” he said, “but I’m in good enough shape that they feel comfortable giving me the opportunity.”
Bryant said he had pretty much accepted that he would sit out this season then give it another shot next year, then the Cardinals called. Suddenly, he had the chance to join an 8-2 team with the No. 3 ranked defense in the NFL and a three-game lead in the NFC West.
“To be 8-2, that’s a testament to the character of this locker room, the coaching staff and the whole organization,” Bryant said. “I’m just coming in and trying to learn as fast as I can to find a role wherever i can. .... If I’m put out there, I’m just going to do what I always did, play my heart out.”
Bryant has appeared in 80 NFL games, 71 as a starter, with 142 tackles (93 solos), 4 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions,