During the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals experienced some shake-up on their quarterback. They were able to keep their lead hitter from last season in James Conner, but saw fellow runner Chase Edmonds run free to Miami and have since filled that spot on the roster with former boss Darrell Williams.
Given his prolific output last season, Conner has a major role to play in this Cardinals offense, but Edmonds’ departure does put 159 touches from 2021 at risk. Williams will certainly be in the conversation about taking those touches, but Cliff Kingsbury recently singled out another contender: Eno Benjamin. The Cardinals head coach noted that the 2020 seventh-round pick showed promise in the offseason and even hinted at a bigger role for him in 2022.
“Eno Benjamin was amazing. [He is] another guy who never had an offseason and he’s there and looks like he could be a starting running back,” Kingsbury said via CardsWire.
The Arizona State product didn’t see any game action during its 2020 rookie season, and Kingsbury is right to note Benjamin’s bumpy transition to the NFL due to pandemic-related restrictions. This off-season has been much more traditional, with the league dropping many of its COVID-related protocols, giving players like Benjamin more time to develop more smoothly.
Benjamin made nine appearances last season, but played only 15% of offensive snaps. During his time on the field, he gained 118 yards, throwing 34 carries and a touchdown. He also caught six of his seven goals in a passing game for an extra 42 yards.
Of course, Kingsbury pumping up Benjamin’s tires in June doesn’t mean he’ll usurp Conner on the home front in September, but it looks like he’s got enough staff attention to be a powerhouse for Arizona. he looks to be fighting in NFC West.