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The Arizona Cardinals have lost starting center A.Q. Shipley for the season with a torn right ACL and will replace him with rookie Mason Cole.
Coach Steve Wilks confirmed the injury Monday Bob Feller Jersey , saying the center "heard something pop" in his knee during a goal-line drill in training camp on Saturday.
Shipley, a six-year NFL veteran, started all 16 games each of the past two seasons, the only member of the Cardinals offensive line to play every game either year. Wilks called him "a tremendous leader and hard worker."
"When you talk about the DNA that I look for, a guy that loves the game, very passionate, gritty," Wilks said. "He really was the leader up front."
Shipley signed with Arizona as a free agent in 2015, working his way to a starting role after bouncing around the NFL early in his career.
"Coach (offensive coordinator Mike) McCoy said it best," right guard Justin Pugh said. "He's the heartbeat of the offensive line. So it's' definitely tough news to hear and knowing everything he's been through in his career."
The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Cole is a third-round draft pick out of Michigan, where he was a four-year starter but only one 鈥?his junior year 鈥?was at center.
The Cardinals, though, drafted him as a center and he's been working at that position through the offseason.
"I learned a lot from him (Shipley) my first few months of being here and still will learn a lot from him Aaron Rodgers Packers Jersey ," Cole said, "but I'm confident I can fill in and hopefully play as good as he has."
Shipley was drafted in the seventh round out of Penn State by Pittsburgh in 2009 but didn't make an active roster until 2012, when he was promoted from the practice squad by Indianapolis. He played two seasons for the Colts, sandwiched around one year with Baltimore.
He wasn't regarded as one of the top centers around the NFL but inside the Cardinals organization, his worth has been considerable.
"I didn't watch much Cardinals football last year, obviously," said Pugh, who came to Arizona after five seasons with the New York Giants. "You get in this building and you realize who runs things and who does things the right way and A.Q. is one of those guys."
Wilks said he watched video of Shipley's injury "12 or 15 times."
"I really couldn't see anything malicious or anybody that fell into his leg," he said. "I think it really just got caught up in the turf and he was engaged and he said he heard it pop."
Shipley was able to walk off the field but was carted from there to the locker room, a towel draped over his head.
Cole started all 51 games at Michigan after arriving on campus, tying a school record.
"I played early in college and I think that helps me in situations like this," he said, "but also coming from Michigan and (coach Jim) Harbaugh's staff and Harbaugh's offense, I think that gives me a little upper hand here Chris Taylor Jersey , too, just in terms of learning the offense and knowing what to do."
As center, Cole will be responsible for making the offensive line play calls.
"Mentally is going to be the biggest challenge," Pugh said. "For me (coming into the NFL) it was more physical because I was out there playing tackle. Obviously I had to know the playbook, know what I had to do. The center's got to know what everyone has to do."
Pugh said he and the other linemen will help Cole, as will veteran quarterback Sam Bradford.
Serious injury is always lurking around the corner in the NFL.
"It's an evil of this game that you don't want to see happen and when it happens to one of your leaders it definitely hurts," Pugh said, "but we've got to rally behind the guys that are out there."
Evan Boehm and Daniel Munyer will be the backups to Cole. Both also play guard. Boehm was drafted in the fourth round out of Missouri in 2016. Munyer, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado in 2016, played 10 offensive snaps against Dallas and was active for four other games 鈥?but did not play 鈥?before his season ended with a toe injury in early November.
The Cardinals also will look for possible help from unsigned players or those released by other teams in the coming weeks.
The Philadelphia 76ers listed Zhaire Smith as their 1-B choice on their draft board.
The Sixers landed the Texas Tech guard – they just had to give up their 1-A to get him.
The Sixers acquired Smith from the Phoenix Suns for Villanova standout Mikal Bridges in a swap of first-round picks that gives the blossoming Eastern Conference playoff team one more rotation played needed toward completing ”The Process.”
But the key to the deal may not be Smith. It’s the unprotected first-round pick in 2021 that the Suns surrendered in the deal that coach and acting general manager Brett Brown pegged as the pivotal part of the trade.
”How do you acquire things that attract stars or develop stars,” Brown asked. ”That pick might be the key to all of this. That pick might be the thing that links a possible trade.”
The Sixers are used to waiting in Brown’s five-year tenure; the franchise had made a habit of waiting for picks Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to make delayed debuts for a variety of reasons.
Smith, who worked out twice for the Sixers during the draft process Authentic Kyle Long Jersey , will fight for minutes in the rotation. But at least he’ll play.
”They run in transition. I feel I can be a part of that,” Smith said. ”Ben Simmons, he can bring it up and make good passes. I’m a good cutter, so he’ll make me look good.”
For a while, the Sixers appeared to have a happy homecoming lined up on draft night. They selected Bridges with the 10th pick, a decision universally applauded in Philadelphia because of his starring role for the national champion Wildcats and because his mother works in human resources for the 76ers’ parent company.
The family affair turned sour in a hurry.
Bridges was traded shortly after he wrapped a press conference expressing his excitement at playing for his hometown team.
Brown said Bridges was listed as the 76ers’ 1-A player – their top choice – and had Smith at 1-B. Once the Suns sweetened the pot with a first-round pick, Brown knew the Sixers had to act on the deal.
The 19-year-old Smith averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game in his lone season at Texas Tech.
”We believe entirely in time he has the ability to be incredibly unique and maybe even great,” Brown said.
The Sixers also selected Wichita State guard Landry Shamet with the 26th overall pick. He averaged 14.9 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range in his sophomore season with the Shockers.
The Sixers made their picks just two weeks after Bryan Colangelo resigned as president of basketball operations in the wake of a Twitter debacle where he was found ”careless and in some instances reckless” of sharing of sensitive team information.
Brown was put in charge on an interim basis as the franchise searches for a new general manager and made all final decisions on draft night. Brown, who took the 76ers from 10 wins to the third seed in the Eastern Conference in just two seasons, signed a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2021-2022 season.
Brown had Smith, Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, in his sight all along.
”He was like, `We’re going to make something happen Youth Billy Price Jersey ,”’ Smith said. ”Apparently, he did.”
The Sixers won 52 games this season and beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semis by Boston. Under Brown’s watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league.
The Sixers have roughly $30 million in salary cap space and expected to be players in the free-agent market.
”We are star hunting, or we are star developing. That’s how you win a championship,” Brown said.
At Barclays Center, the NBA draft site, a plane flying above the arena carried three banners. One had LeBron James’ No. 23 with a crown and the Liberty Bell, another urges him to ”Strive for GOATNESS” and the last reads (hash)PHILLYWANTSLEBRON. Power Home Remodeling, a Philadelphia-based company, has become a James recruiter, originally setting up three billboards in Cleveland urging him to come to the city. The company also flew Thursday’s billboards in Brooklyn.