Arizona Cardinals' Dwight Freeney to see action immediately

Kent Somers
azcentral sports
Dwight Freeney will wear No. 54 for the Cardinals.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA. – Pass rush specialist Dwight Freeney, who signed this week, hasn’t practiced in full pads yet, but coaches already have a role defined for him this Sunday against the Steelers.

Asked how Freeney will be involved in practice and the game, coach Bruce Arians replied: “Freeney’s involved now. That’s why we signed him. He rushes the passer. I don’t think you have to teach him that.”

The plan is for Freeney to play 15 to 20 snaps, depending on how often the Cardinals are in their nickel and dime packages.

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Rookie Markus Golden will start at one outside linebacker spot in place of Alex Okafor, who suffered a calf injury last week, with LaMarr Woodley playing the other side. Okafor is expected to miss two to four weeks.

Freeney likely will replace Woodley in nickel situations, with Kareem Martin also getting some play time.

Freeney said he is trying to learn everything he can in the three days of full practices prior to the game.

“I’ll let the coaches decide when they want me out there, how much time, whether I’m ready for this or that,” said Freeney, 35. “I’ve been working out pretty good and the older you get, your body gets used to it (football) faster. The challenge for me probably will be mentally. New scheme, new terminology. It’s not just ‘see ball, get ball.’ You have to make sure you’re in the right spot, then get the ball.”

Up next: Cardinals at Steelers

When: Sunday at 10 a.m.

Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

TV: Channel 10.