A.Q. Shipley, Arizona’s starting center, went down with a torn ACL over the weekend and he’s done for the season.
“Very unfortunate situation for him and the team,” Wilks said via (ESPN). “Tremendous leader, hard worker. When you talk about the DNA that I look for, [he’s] a guy that loves the game. Very passionate, gritty. Really was a leader up front, and it’s going to be an opportunity for others to step up that this particular time.”
Shipley has started every game for the Cardinals over the last two seasons, missing just a total of four offensive snaps.
“The guy that really anchors everything to me is A.Q.,” Wilks said. “I think Shipley does a great job just with his communication, identifying the ‘Mike’ [linebacker] and setting us up in the right protection. Everything starts with him. Everybody talks about [his lack of] size, length and this and that. But he’s gritty. He’s dirty. I mean, I love him.”
Arizona was already expected to have one of the worst offensive lines in the league with Pro Football Focus ranking them as the 6th worse unit in the league.
Shipley, who received PFF’s worst grade out of their projected starting lineup, was the only starter without a serious injury history. Arizona now will turn too third-rounder Mason Cole, a rookie out of Michigan, to man the pivot.