Arizona Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson latest deep threat


Receiver J.J. Nelson scores his first NFL touchdown on Sunday night for the Arizona Cardinals

We started finding a little bit about J.J. Nelson after he was drafted out of Alabama-Birmingham in the 2015 NFL Draft.  Then we saw what he could do in training camp back in August.  On Sunday night, he finally showed us what he can do in a regular season game.

Nelson, who has been hampered by injury since week two against the Chicago Bears, had his biggest night of his young career so far on Sunday night.  His contributions helped the Arizona Cardinals defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31.

Nelson caught four passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in the winning effort.  Not only did he catch the longest touchdown for the Cardinals this season of 64-yards, it was also quarterback Carson Palmer’s longest touchdown of the season as well.  Nelson also caught a huge 19-yard pass in the Cardinals winning scoring drive.

What Nelson showed on Sunday night was that huge burst of speed everyone has been talking about for months now.  Once he made his cross pattern all the way over to the right sideline, he was gone once the ball landed in his hands.  With his small frame he needs to outrun his defenders.

Of course when we got a chance to watch him in the preseason we couldn’t wait to see what he could do once the season got going.  Unfortunately his shoulder injury suffered against the Bears had him out of action for four weeks.

Week after week we see a different Cardinals receiver step up and make big plays.  Last week against the Seattle Seahawks it was Jaron Brown who may have saved the game by making an amazing grab to avoid another turnover.  On Sunday night against the Bengals, Nelson’s early third quarter touchdown may have saved the game for an offense that was struggling quite a bit at the time.

If he can stay healthy there is no reason to believe the latest deep threat for the Cardinals can’t continue to be.  Of course it is nice knowing guys like Michael Floyd are around to emulate as well.  Clearly Nelson’s 40-yard dash combine speed, the fastest in the 2015 session at 4.28, was no fluke.  He has carried it onto the playing field and hopefully will pay dividends for the Cardinals for years to come.