TEMPE, Ariz -- What had become a three-man race for the starting cornerback job opposite Patrick Peterson is now down to two after Mike Jenkins sustained a season-ending ACL injury.
Jenkins had moved into the conversation with Justin Bethel and rookie Brandon Williams after breaking a bone in his right hand and missing much of training camp. But Jenkins' right knee buckled under him while running on coverage Sunday in a preseason game against the Houston Texans and he's now out of the mix entirely.
"It's a shame because he had a chance to be our starting corner," coach Bruce Arians said during a news conference. "He was battling through the hand (injury) and it's another one of those non-contact injuries."
Jenkins, brought in as a late, free-agent addition, sustained a broken bone in his right hand during his first full practice with the team and finally was able to return to camp and play a week ago.
His injury means the starting corner job opposite Peterson will remain a competition between Williams and Bethel, who continues to deal with foot pain following offseason foot surgery.
Arians was asked if the Cardinals would consider moving safety Tyrann Mathieu to cornerback if he wasn't satisfied with either Williams or Bethel as the starting corner.
"If he were healthy and full speed, yes, but probably not for a while," Arians said, adding he expects the "Honey Badger" to be ready for the season opener Sept. 11 against the New England Patriots as he returns from his second ACL surgery in three years.
Mathieu has yet to play in a preseason game, but Arians doesn't think that's necessary for the playmaker to be ready for the start of the season.
"No, we just need to see a really good solid eight to nine days of practice," the coach said.
Arians said Cariel Brooks has played well in a backup role at cornerback, but added, "It's pretty much those guys (Bethel and Williams) and I'm very comfortable with both of them."
Summing things up, Arians said the Cardinals lost a very good player in Jenkins but that it's not the end of the world for Arizona's Super Bowl chances.
"We're one down from where we were. Same guys are battling it out," he said. "It's not like there's a bunch of them running around on the street, so you take what you got, you coach them up and you go."
-- The Cardinals on Monday released former Alabama quarterback Jake Coker and 10 others players in an effort to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday's mandatory deadline.
Coker, an undrafted free-agent rookie, was waived upon reaching an injury settlement with the club. He injured his knee a week ago and coach Bruce Arians said the quarterback may need arthroscopic surgery.
Also released on Monday were guard Jake Bernstein, receiver Amir Carlisle, tight end Gerald Christian, tackle Clay DeBord, long snapper Daniel Dillon, defensive tackle Iosia Iosia, cornerback Asa Jackson, receiver Franky Okafor, cornerback Shaun Prater, punter Garrett Swanson and safety Tyrequek Zimmerman.
"These were fairly easy compared to what Friday will be like," Arians said of Arizona's first round of cuts.
-- WR John Brown continues to be bothered by headaches after passing the NFL's concussion protocol and being cleared to practice a week and a half ago.
"John Brown is still having headaches, but he's getting a little bit further along each day," Arians said. "Hopefully he can make it through practice this week and be available."
Asked how concerned he is about Brown's ongoing headaches, Arians said, "I've been concerned the whole time. You hate to see it linger this long because you don't really know what's causing it, whether it was the concussion or if it's medicine or whatever it is. He's had two headache-free days so hopefully he can exercise (Monday) and have another headache-free day."
-- Arians on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest of refusing to stand for the national anthem because of his views on oppression in America: "I respect his right as an American. Freedom of speech is one thing. I disagree with it. I want to stand and cheer for all the people who lost their life of every race and religion, gender defending that flag. It's not my opinion, but I respect his right."