TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have released Ben Graham, the team's punter since December 2008, and 24 others to get down to the NFL's 53-man roster limit.
In addition, the Cardinals placed wide receiver Sean Jeffcoat and guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack on season-ending injured reserve with shoulder injuries.
The coaching staff chose to keep five tight ends and nine linebackers.
"The one thing I'll say about the 53-man roster is that it's written in pencil right now," he said Friday shortly after the cuts were announced. "This will not be the same 53-man roster that we go in to play against Carolina next week."
Whisenhunt said with each team cutting their rosters from 80 to 53 this weekend, "you just feel like there's going to be a number of players to look at. Maybe somebody can help you improve your team."
Among the areas likely to be addressed is running back. With the season-ending knee injury to rookie Ryan Williams, the Cardinals have three on their roster -- Beanie Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith. Smith, on the practice squad as a rookie last year, has been slowed by a hamstring injury in the preseason.
Graham, an Australian who was the punter in Arizona's Super Bowl run after his late addition to the squad, had a big 2009, when he averaged 47 yards per punt with 42 inside the opponent's 20-yard line and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl. But his average dipped to 43.4 last season.
"Dave has a body of work that we're familiar with," Whisenhunt said, "punting in the AFC North and in those conditions and being a successful punter. That was part of the information that we had going in. We needed to see him actually do it in the game for us, and he was impressive in the first half (Thursday night). That went a long way in answering some of those questions."
Zastudil punted twice for an average of 47.5 yards in Thursday night's 26-7 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Davis was Arizona's sixth-round draft pick out of Illinois in 2009. He started three games in 2010 before being placed on injured reserve with a leg injury for the final six games. Iwebema, a fourth-round pick of the Cardinals out of Iowa in 2008, played in seven games for Arizona last season before a knee injury and subsequent surgery. The Cardinals re-signed him Aug. 22.
Spach might have been the odd man out of that group, but Dray, a 2010 seventh-round pick out of Stanford who excels on special teams, sustained a strained left pectoral muscle against Denver.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press