GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As soon as the Arizona Cardinals plugged a leak at one injury-wracked position, another hole sprung that could leave the team scrambling as it prepares to play in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night in Canton, Ohio.
Ask Bruce Arians how thin the Cardinals are at inside linebacker.
"It's thin. It's really thin right now," the coach said.
It started before camp even began when "money" linebacker Deone Bucannon was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list following offseason ankle surgery. Bucannon isn't expected to be able to play until Week 1 of the regular season, at the earliest.
Since then, the Cardinals have been forced to reach injury settlements with two other inside linebackers, Alani Fua and Tevin Floyd, and they've seen three others get hurt in a span of four days.
Veteran Karlos Dansby (knee) has missed three straight practices. Veteran Gabe Martin suffered an Achilles injury on Monday. And veteran Philip Wheeler was knocked out of practice on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury that could keep him sidelined for the rest of the week.
The injuries likely mean that rookie Haason Reddick and second-year pro Scooby Wright, who plays mostly on special teams, will get extensive playing time as the starters on Thursday night against Dallas.
The Cardinals had been just as decimated at the cornerback position, losing Jumal Rolle to a torn hamstring, Elie Bouka to an ankle issue, and then Ronald Zamort to a season-ending torn ACL. Justin Bethel, meanwhile, suffered a hyperextended knee late last week but managed to return to practice on Tuesday wearing a brace.
He wasn't expected back until Monday but pressed the issue a day after the team signed veteran Tramon Williams to a one-year deal as a free agent. Williams spent the past two seasons with the Browns.
"He's definitely a veteran that's going to be well-needed in our room," starting left cornerback Patrick Peterson said of Williams, 34. "He just adds that much more experience for us, so we're definitely looking for him to come in and help us right away. I'm sure he can."
Arians said Williams, who spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Packers and helped them win Super Bowl XLV, should be a valuable addition.
"He's got a pro resume, has been an outstanding player for a long time and a very versatile player," Arians said. "He can play outside, inside, safety. Very smart player. So I'm very excited about adding him to our team."
The Cardinals this week also signed Jarell Carter, an undrafted rookie free agent from Trinity International.
Williams said he plans to compete for playing time right away and, once he has learned the playbook, expects to challenge for the starting spot opposite Peterson.
"You've got some young talented guys here, but anytime I come to anybody's teams I always look to compete no matter how the chips fell or how the perception was about who had the starting spot or not," he said. "I always came in to compete and I never thought anything would be given to me, so I'm definitely going to compete."
Coach Bruce Arians said none of his starters on offense or defense will play in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys in Canton, Ohio.
"It's all about the young guys," he said, adding he's curious to see all of them play. "There's so many, especially on defense and special teams. I'm really anxious to see them cover and block and return kicks."
Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin will call all of the plays against the Cowboys, not Arians.
In addition to starting QB Carson Palmer, backup Drew Stanton also will not play Thursday night. Arians said Blaine Gabbert will start the first half and undrafted rookie free agent Trevor Knight will play the second half.
"He doesn't need to play," Arians said of Stanton. "He's got plenty of preseason games coming. He don't need to get hit."