CINCINNATI – The Cardinals came to Paycor Stadium looking to have a second-year linebacker show his evolution from his rookie year.
Zaven Collins? He’s still a work in progress, after the Cardinals beat the Bengals, 36-23,, Friday night in the teams’ preseason opener. But outside linebacker Victor Dimukeje, a sixth-round pick from Duke last season, came up with two sacks and provided promise for a team that is searching for pass-rush help this season.
Dimukeje has drawn praise throughout training camp. For a team that has question marks beyond Markus Golden in that area, his development would be welcome.
Dennis Gardeck, who started at outside linebacker, continued to look explosive on the pass rush. Golden and Devon Kennard did not play.
The Cardinals two rookie third-rounder outside linebackers, Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas, didn’t leave as big of a mark in their initial game.
Neither did Collins, who played the first 18 defensive snaps. He did not record a solo tackle but was credited with an assist. On one bull rush he did shove the blocker and helped blow up the pocket, but slipped when the quarterback scrambled past him.
Among the other players who stood out in the game was wide receiver Greg Dortch, who made four catches for 53 yards and also broke off a 55-yard punt return to set up a TD.
Quarterback Trace McSorley played a half, looking sharp most of the time. With Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy sitting, the third-stringer completed 13-of-22 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 32 yards.
More to come on azcardinals.com.