Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, the former Grayson High and Ole Miss star, will not play against the Falcons at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Nkemdiche, who’s set to enter his second season in the NFL, suffered a calf strain in practice on Tuesday and also won’t play in the Cardinals’ exhibition finale against the Broncos, Arizona coach Bruce Arians told the Phoenix media.
Nkemdiche, a first-round pick last year, played well in training camp, according to the Arizona Republic. Although he remained on the second team, Nkemdiche showed quickness and power in training camp and offensive linemen had trouble blocking him.
Nkemdiche played in just five games as a rookie and was considered a disappointment.
DRAFTED: First round, 29th overall in 2016
High school: Grayson
Highlights: He was the consensus No. 1 overall recruit in the nation after playing for former Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. He was an immediate starter for the Rebels. He played some defensive end and defensive tackle as a freshmen. He was a very good college player, but never lived up to his immense hype. His inconsistency was troubling to some NFL scouts. He played like Mean Joe Greene against Alabama and then disappeared against Arkansas. The uneven play was a red flag to some. He had a spotty rookie year with the Cardinals as he played in only five games.
FALCONS 2017 EXHIBITION SEASON
STEELERS 17, FALCONS 13
DOLPHINS 23, FALCONS 20