Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Cardinals keep Nkemdiche, Williams inactive against Rams

The Arizona Cardinals are without four defensive linemen for Sunday's game against Los Angeles.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Rams claimed Arizona Cardinals' fifth round draft pick Marqui Christian off waivers. 

On Sunday, Christian is active for Los Angeles, while only one of the Cardinals' six draft choices from the 2016 NFL Draft is active for Arizona.

First round draft choice Robert Nkemdiche and third round draft choice Brandon Williams are both inactive for Arizona, and both appear to be coaching decisions.

Head coach Bruce Arians indicated Nkemdiche had one of his best practices as a Cardinals this week, but that still wasn't enough for Arians to keep Nkemdiche on the team's 46-player game day roster. As for Williams, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 reported that he working with the Cardinals' practice squad this week.

The decision to leave Williams inactive comes just two weeks after the rookie cornerback out of Texas A&M made his back-to-back starts to open his NFL career. Still, Williams was starting because of a relative lack of depth in the Cardinals' defensive backfield, and with the additions of new starter Marcus Cooper and waiver-wire pickup Tharold Simon, Arizona can now focus on Williams' development.

Fourth round draft choice Evan Boehm is the only Cardinals' draft pick from this offseason who is active against Los Angeles Sunday, and barring an unforeseen injury, Boehm will likely only play on special teams. Boehm is the backup center to A.Q. Shipley, who has struggled as a starter for Arizona this season.

The Cardinals did receive some positive news Sunday as right guard Evan Mathis is not on the inactive list, which likely means he will start after missing Sunday's contest in Buffalo. Reserve offensive lineman Earl Watford filled in for Mathis last week.

With veteran punter Drew Butler inactive this week due to injury, free agent signee Ryan Quigley will handle Arizona's punting duties, and likely hold field goals for placekicker Chandler Catanzaro. Arians said earlier this week he was considering leaving Butler active simply to hold field goals, but it's likely that Quigley will assume those duties.

Sunday's matchup between Arizona and Los Angeles is intriguing in that neither team has received much from its 2016 draft class, as the Rams have come under heat for the selection of No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, who is active as the team's backup quarterback Sunday.

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