Bruce Arians: Cardinals' starters will not play in Hall of Fame Game

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The stars may be studding Canton, Ohio, throughout the weekend leading up to Saturday night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, but they won’t be on the field Thursday night.

Not for the Arizona Cardinals, at least.

Arizona’s starters will not play Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, coach Bruce Arians said on Tuesday. To some veterans, they couldn’t have heard better news.

No starters means no quarterback Carson Palmer, running back David Johnson or wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, as well as no cornerback Patrick Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu or outside linebacker Chandler Jones. However, Arians said first-round pick, inside linebacker Haason Reddick, will play a few snaps.

“He’s not going to play a ton,” Arians said. “He’s going to play, though. Injuries at some positions could cause guys to play more than I want them to play.”

Even though he’s not a starter, backup quarterback Drew Stanton will also not play, Arians said. Blaine Gabbert will start the game and play the entire first half and undrafted free agent Trevor Knight will quarterback the second half.

Stanton “doesn’t need to play,” Arians said, since he’ll be playing in the rest of the preseason games.

Thursday’s game will be “all about young guys,” Arians said. There are “so many” young players he wants to see in game conditions that he couldn’t name just one when pressed. He’s especially eager to see the younger players on defense and special teams.

“[I’m] anxious to see them cover and block and return kicks,” Arians said.

Another veteran non-starter who won’t play, either, is recently signed defensive back Tramon Williams.

“I think he knows how to play corner,” Arians said. “He needs to learn the defense first.”