Arizona Cardinals Running Backs 2022 – Season Preview

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Arizona Cardinals
"Cardinals coming at me" by Jeffrey Beall is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Arizona Cardinals had some shakeup in their running back room over the offseason. Since last season ended, the Cardinals have lost Chase Edmonds who showed glimpses of being a clear number one option at running back for the team. The Cardinals still have James Conner, who has proven he can be a serviceable starting running back. With Arizona being more of a pass-first offense, having a subpar running back room will not have too large of an effect on their offense as a whole. It is not likely that all of the running backs covered today will end up making it to the final roster when the regular season rolls around, however, these are all of the running backs listed on the Cardinals’ depth chart today.

James Conner

As previously mentioned, barring any injury in camp, James Conner will be the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022-2023 season. Although Conner has never been a star in the NFL, he is still a solid starting option. He has yet to finish a season with 1000 rushing yards despite being a starter in three of his five seasons in the league. Conner was limited to more of a bench role last year, however, it appears that his workload will be ramped up this year.

Darrel Williams

Darrel Williams was signed to the Cardinals after he spent four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Williams is no stranger to being a part of a running back committee. It is difficult to believe that he will not see the field almost every game this season and could even steal the starting job when things are all said and done. He has a lot of potential, he just has not had a huge opportunity to put his talents on display yet. 

Eno Benjamin

Eno Benjamin was a 7th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2020 NFL draft. He has not had much of a chance to see the field thus far in his career. So far, Benjamin only has 34 career rushes in his one season with the team. Unless there is an injury to either Conner or Williams this season, Benjamin will probably once again be assigned a bench role this season.

Jonathan Ward

Jonathan Ward is in a very similar situation to Benjamin. He was undrafted coming into the NFL, however, he has fought to stay in the league for the past two seasons. In his two years with the Cardinals, he only has nine rushing attempts up to this point. It is unlikely that Ward will see much of the field again this season. However, the NFL is a very unpredictable league and Ward could work his way up the depth chart over training camp.

Keaontay Ingram

Keaontay Ingram was selected with a 5th-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Ingram spent three seasons at Texas before he transferred to USC for his final college season. Over his college career, he rushed for 2722 yards, and 16 touchdowns on 495 rushing attempts. He is also a solid receiving back. Ingram could find an incredible opportunity with the Cardinals this season and there is a chance if he adjusts to the league well, he could end up being the teams starting running back by the end of the season.

T.J. Pledger

Pledger is another rookie running back this season. He was not drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent. Instead, he went to the Cardinals tryouts and left with a contract. Pledger is a very hardworking player. Like Ingram, he transferred out of the Big 12 for his final collegiate season. He spent three seasons at Oklahoma before transferring to Utah. Over his college career, he ran for 1389 yards, and 12 touchdowns on 239 rushing attempts. It is doubtful that he will see too much time on the field this season, but even getting an NFL contract shows the work ethic and drive that Pledger possesses. 

Ronnie Rivers

The final running back on the Cardinals roster is Ronnie Rivers. Rivers spent five seasons at Fresno State. Rivers became an undrafted free agent after putting up very solid numbers in college. On 681 rushing attempts, he achieved 3417 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground. Along with this, he amassed 1421 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 150 catches. Rivers may also be featured in the return game for the Cardinals this season as well if he makes the final roster.