Other than the visit to see family and friends, there wasn’t much more worth writing home about following the closest appearance possible to his native hometown for the only Mooresville native actively listed on a National Football League team’s roster.
Current Arizona Cardinals starting offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy, a former Mooresville High School multi-sport athlete, was part of a crew that exited play against the Carolina Panthers on the short end of a 31-21 decision Sunday that also stretched the visiting team’s season-long losing streak.
Following and promising and perhaps somewhat surprising 2-0 start to this season that included an opening victory over the reigning champion San Francisco 49’ers of their fellow NFL National Football Conference’s West Division, the Cardinals have now dropped two games in succession to head back into this weekend’s play sitting at the 2-2 mark overall.
While residing a full two games back of the division-leading and undefeated Seattle Seahawks, a team that also has deep ties to Mooresville’s Sweezy, Arizona can continue to rest somewhat easy over the fact that it sits in a two-way tie for the third-place position within the updated NCF standings that is the only division in the league that does not have a team with a losing record.
The game Sunday was also the first to take place inside the Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium that featured live fans in attendance. An announced crowd of 5,120 attended the contest in person in accordance to the new statewide guidelines implanted just late last week.
The Cardinals were limited offensively and never took the lead in being dealt their second straight setback and first dropped on the road in two games.
The 6-foot-3 and 310-pound Sweezy, in the second of his two-year contract with Arizona he signed as an unrestricted free agent, again made a steady presence by appearing in all of the team’s offensive snaps from his right guard position. He has started all four of the team’s games so far during this his 10th season in the NFL. He has previously played for the Seahawks, the organization that initially drafted him in the seventh-round as the 225th pick in the 2012 draft and for which he has also made multiple career stops, as well as served time as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise.
Arizona remains in the midst of a season-long road trip with a visit to take on the as-of-yet winless New York Jets on Sunday. Following a game against the Dallas Cowboys in a Monday night appearance the following week, the Cardinals play just their only home game of the month of October when hosting the current NFC-leading Seahawks on Oct. 25.
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