Raj Mehta/USA Today Sports

Taylor, Stinson highlight Cardinals' inactives

The Arizona Cardinals have just three running backs and six defensive linemen active for their season opener.

With less than 90 minutes to go until the Arizona Cardinals kick off their 2016 season, the team released its inactive list for Sunday's contest against the New England Patriots.


NFL teams are allowed to keep 53 players on their regular season roster, but may only use 46 players on game days. 

One of the more surprising moves the Cardinals made when the team finalized its 53-man roster was keeping nine defensive linemen while most teams keep just seven or eight, and on Sunday, three of those defensive linemen are inactive for Arizona.

Veteran Ed Stinson is joined by second-year nose tackle Xavier Williams and Miami product Olsen Pierre on the inactive list, which means first round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche will make his NFL debut in the team's season-opener after missing the first half of the preseason with an ankle injury.

Nkemdiche, third round draft choice Brandon Williams and fourth round selection Evan Boehm are the three Cardinals' draft picks who are active for the team's season-opener, while fifth round selections Cole Toner and Marqui Christian are among the team's inactives.

Aside from the trio of defensive linemen and the pair of rookies, the Cardinals are also without fourth-string running back Stepfan Taylor and second-team outside linebacker Kareem Martin who have been limited in practices of late due to injury.

With Taylor and Martin sidelined, Arizona has just three running backs and three outside linebackers active. 

The New England Patriots also released their inactive list about an hour and a half before kickoff and the Patriots are without three key players who did not travel with the team to Arizona due to injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, tackle Nate Solder and guard Jonathan Cooper are all out for Sunday's contest, while quarterback Tom Brady is not listed among the team's inactives because he is serving the first game of a four-game suspension. 


Scottsdale native and undrafted free agent D.J. Foster earned a spot on the Patriots roster with an excellent performance in the team's preseason finale, but Foster will not suit up for New England in his return to his home state. 


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