The Arizona Cardinals have run into a depth issue at tight end to start the season
All seemed fine in training camp and the preseason for the Arizona Cardinals at the tight end position. That feeling didn’t last more than one game into the new season.
Jermaine Gresham got injured against the Detroit Lions. On Thursday he did not practice. Then Troy Niklas all a sudden came down with an injury. He too did not practice.
There was hope that the Cardinals would use the tight end more in the passing game this season with the questionable depth at receiver. Gresham was re-signed in the offseason in the hopes of building on what he accomplished in 2016.
Gresham had 37 receptions for 391-yards and two touchdowns. It was an improvement over his 18 receptions for 223-yards and a touchdown in his first season in Arizona in 2015.
Niklas has battled the injury bug pretty much since the time he arrived in Arizona. Now he’s hurt again and you have to wonder about him going forward.
The Cardinals generally look for blocking first from their tight ends but they could become a huge part of the offense and the short passing game with the absence of running back David Johnson. After Gresham and Niklas is Ifeanyi Momah.
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They have Ricky Seals-Jones on the practice squad. It sure seems like however that the Cardinals are not only worried about Gresham and Niklas this weekend but with what Momah and Seals-Jones can provide.
With that in mind, the Cardinals are reportedly bringing back Jim Dray. You remember Dray. He caught all of seven passes in his first three seasons in Arizona.
In 2013, coach Bruce Arians’ first season in Arizona, Dray was a little more involved in the offense. He caught 26 passes for 215-yards and two touchdowns. After that he moved on to Cleveland for two seasons.
He spent 2016 with a couple of teams. He was with the Buffalo Bills for four games and the San Francisco 49ers for two games.
Is the move to bring him in precautionary? Does this mean the Cardinals could be looking at a lengthy absence for either Gresham, Niklas or both?
Either way, bringing in Dray late in the week makes you wonder. The Cardinals need help from this position more than ever.