The Arizona Cardinals released veteran right tackle Andre Smith and cornerback Bene Benwikere on Monday, a day after both players struggled in a 45-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
"I'm not really in the business of trying to send messages or trying to be subliminal in any way," head coach Steve Wilks said. "I'm very direct in my approach and the things I say. If you're not doing it our way, if you're not giving us the best opportunities to win football games, number one, you won't be on the field and if it gets to that point, we'll move on. That's what we did."
The Cardinals also placed linebacker Josh Bynes (thumb) and kicker Phil Dawson (hip) on injured reserve, while promoting kicker Zane Gonzalez off the practice squad and claiming tight end Darrell Daniels off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. The team still has two open roster spots.
Smith, 31, signed a two-year deal in free agency in March and started eight games at right tackle, allowing three sacks and committing one penalty. The 10th-year veteran has 93 career starts.
Wilks announced seventh-round rookie Korey Cunningham will start on the right side moving forward, saying the youngster earned the opportunity by holding up as a fill-in left tackle for D.J. Humphries the last two weeks. Humphries is expected to return soon, but swing tackle John Wetzel is out for the year with a neck injury.
Benwikere, 27, started the last eight games for Arizona after joining the Cardinals on a one-year deal in March. He has one interception and four passes defensed this season.
Bynes, 29, is second on the team in tackles (75) and also has five tackles for loss, five passes defensed and two sacks in 11 starts this season. He had played all but 10 snaps this year before getting hurt Sunday. No other Arizona linebacker has played more than 65.6 percent of the snaps.
Gonzalez, 23, was released by the Cleveland Browns in September after making just 2 of 5 field-goal attempts and 3 of 5 extra-point attempts in two games. He joined Arizona's practice squad last week.
Daniels, 24, did not catch a pass in nine games (two starts) with the Seahawks this season. He has three career catches for 26 yards, all with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017.
--Field Level Media
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