Arizona Cardinals: The tight ends


The Arizona Cardinals set their 53-man roster over the weekend

Probably the most concerning position on the roster for the Arizona Cardinals is tight end.  That is mostly due to the fact it has been a position that the Cardinals have seen a number of injuries at over the past several seasons.

The other issue is when their tights ends healthy, they are unproductive.  It hasn’t been all the fault of the Cardinals offensive system though.

No doubt head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t employ the tight end position as much as many other teams do but it is still an important position nonetheless.  Arians expects his tight ends to be that extra blocker on the offensive line.  If you can’t block, you can’t play tight end for the Cardinals.

The four players the Cardinals kept can block, to some extent.  However the bigger question is can the four they kept stay healthy?  Only one of the four tight ends on the 53-man roster managed to avoid injury at some point this preseason.

Ifeanyi Momah

This guy came almost out of nowhere.  Now Philadelphia Eagles fans will recognize Momah but there were a number of Cardinals fans unfamiliar with him before March.  That was when the Cardinals held a veteran mini-camp in Tempe.  Momah came out of that camp with an offer to come to camp.

Momah also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns over the past couple of years.  He has yet to appear in a regular season game.  That will likely change this weekend against the New Orleans Saints.  Momah did appear to suffer an injury to his head against the Oakland Raiders last week but turned out to be alright.

Momah’s issue will be with his blocking as he is a converted receiver but he can still get the job done when asked.  He played too well in the preseason to leave off the roster.

Darren Fells

Fells was last year’s tight end story coming out of camp since he hadn’t played football for very long.  He is a basketball player turned football player.  I’m sure you’ve heard the story by now.  He will be the other starting tight end opposite Momah.  He is the only one that escaped camp without any injury.

Jermaine Gresham

He couldn’t get on the field during the preseason after signing a free agent contract with the Cardinals after spending his first five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.  He could eventually be the starter as the season moves forward.  For now though he will have to play behind Momah until he is healthy and ready to consistently contribute.

Troy Niklas

This is the guy that can’t seem to stay healthy for any length of time.  A great blocking tight end, Niklas enters his second season in the NFL with the Cardinals.  He only played in seven games last season, starting two of them.  Let’s hope the Cardinals can get something out of him this season.

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