Who will the Cardinals practice against during training camp this year?

We know the Arizona Cardinals will have joint practices with another NFL team during training camp this summer, as they did last year in the days preceding the road preseason game against the Vikings.

The question is what team it will be. When head coach Jonathan Gannon talked to reporters earlier this week at the league meeting in Orlando, Fla., he provided one clue, noting that it will be with “a really good football team in the AFC.”

Not simply a good team, but a “really good” team.

Opponents in the preseason won’t be officially announced until May, but teams know well before that who they will be playing. The Cardinals will have two road games and one at home, and the practice trip will likely be in the second or third week of the games. Judging by Gannon’s comment, they already know and the game schedule is likely determined based on those plans.

Could it be the Chiefs? The Cardinals played Kansas City at home in the 2021 and 2023 preseason, so a road game is certainly possible. In the group of top AFC teams are the Ravens, Bills, Texans, Dolphins, Browns and perhaps the Steelers with Russell Wilson at quarterback and Chargers with head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Justin Herbert.

During the regular season, the AFC teams the Cardinals play are the four in the AFC East along with the Chargers.

It is a rarity for Pacific time-zone teams to play teams in the Eastern time zone during the preseason.

Whoever it is, Gannon looks forward to the extra work against another team.

He said, “It is a highly competitive environment where it is a little safer than a preseason game. I always say there is a teeter-totter between development and safety. If you’re too worried about development, you’re going to get a bunch of guys hurt. If you are too worried about safety you’re going to have no development. You have to find that sweet spot. (Joint work) is a way you kind of find a sweet spot.”

Gannon also believes it’s important to practice with a team that has different offensive and defensive schemes than the Cardinals.

“We’re selective with how we do that and excited about our plan this year,” he said. “I like them and I think the players like them. You just have to be smart about what you are doing, make sure everyone is on board with what I call the rules of engagement, and from there, there is good evaluation and good development.”

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire