There's an old football adage that pops up every year during training camp when the battle for jobs reaches its natural apex: You can't make the club from the tub.
Meaning if you want to make the roster no matter how talented you are, the first step starts with physically being on the field.
Andy Isabella is hell bent on testing that phrase out this offseason.
Entering a pivotal third year, Isabella was going to be in the fight for his NFL this training camp. As a former second round pick hand selected by the head coach, he squandered every major playing opportunity that presented itself his first two years. Last year when the Cardinals were reeling late in the season with injuries to multiple wide receivers, Isabella was kept on the inactive list which is usually a death knell to a players roster spot.
Despite the late season bad omen, Isabella still entered camp with a decent chance at making the final 53. Other than AJ Green and Rondale Moore, the Cardinals didn't make any WR additions paving a clear path for Isabella to settle into the top 6.
And then COVID came knocking. First, he was placed in COVID protocols as camp began and now he's on the COVID list a second time facing the possibility of missing the first two preseason games.
Here's the thing thought, the Cardinals kind of need Isabella. Isabella was miscast in a major way as a 2nd round pick who was projected and given opportunities to start. As a 6th WR he's perfect. He has speed. He can contribute on special teams and has solid NFL experience.
He's the perfect depth receiver for a team lacking quality depth at most positions.
Ultimately this is why he may still make the team. Isabella gives the Cardinals Rondale Moore insurance. He brings a special teams skill set to the bottom of the rotation and he's too valuable to my show to cut.
If Sweet Andy doesn't make the team, I can't play his theme song "Where in the World is Andy Isabella?" anymore.
And that's a fate I'm not willing to consider for now.