Arizona Cardinals may have a role for Jordan Hicks in 2021 after all

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Jordan Hicks
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Jordan Hicks /

Despite his backup status, veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks could still be utilized by the Arizona Cardinals defense in 2021.

The 2021 offseason has been anything but enjoyable for Arizona Cardinals veteran Jordan Hicks.

It all started back in April when the Cards acquired a replacement for the inside linebacker, who had been a full-time starter in the NFL since the 2016 campaign. The highly-touted Zaven Collins was drafted with the 16th-overall pick, and Hicks no longer appeared to be in the team’s plans.

Four months have now passed, and Hicks is still employed by the Cardinals. Suddenly, things are looking up in the desert for the 29-year-old defender. In fact, coordinator Vance Joseph could actually carve out a role for Hicks with the Arizona defensive unit after all.

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According to the current depth chart, Collins and second-year defender Isaiah Simmons will be the Cards’ starting inside linebackers this coming season. However, the unique versatility of one of the youngsters could result in Hicks garnering some significant playing time for the squad in 2021.

The 6-foot-4, 238-pound Simmons played nine different positions when he was a star performer at Clemson University. There have been discussions within the Cardinals organization about Joseph utilizing the 23-year-old in the same way. Simmons seems to be perfectly fine with the idea of being moved around like a chess piece.

"“I don’t really have an exact number, but I definitely believe I could play multiple positions just with the different skill sets I bring to the game. I’m not going to line up as a 3-tech or a nose, and I’d probably leave the corner jobs to them.”"

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On Wednesday, Hicks was one of four defensive captains named after a vote by Arizona’s players and coaches. Such an honor is not usually given to an individual who’ll be riding the bench during games. It would leave one to believe that Hicks may be handed much more playing time for the Redbirds this fall than originally thought.