The Arizona Cardinals need to do something about their running backs situation as James Conner once again lands on the injury report.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the third time this season Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner has landed on the injury report. It’s been five weeks, and while Conner finally had a decent game running the ball, he also did what he does best: He found a way to hurt himself.
Conner’s injury history dates back to his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who lost patience with their third round pick from 2017. While Conner had his moments in the desert, he has become completely unreliable as the team’s top running back.
Initially, I stated Conner could still be an RB1 for this Cardinals team if they adopted a committee approach. Turns out I was wrong, he couldn’t stay healthy for three quarters. This week, the Cardinals should still adopt the committee with backs like Keaontay Ingram and perhaps Corey Clement and Ty’son Williams, both of whom signed with the Cardinals earlier in the week.
The Cardinals also have Darrel Williams, but he landed on injured reserve with hamstring issues. With Williams and Conner both in the “aging” category as far as running backs go, the Cardinals need to turn to a younger talent. And that younger talent should be Eno Benjamin.
Eno Benjamin deserves a chance to be the Arizona Cardinals RB1
Benjamin did not have a great game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and 25 yards. He did have a remarkable touchdown run, which capped off his first of the season.
Despite playing in fewer snaps, Benjamin has nearly become the most productive back in Arizona, averaging 4.5 yards per carry, 136 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and 97 yards through the air on 12 receptions. Conner has more touches overall, but just 200 yards to show for it, plus 14 receptions on 19 targets for 103 yards.
Now that Benjamin will take over RB1 duties, he should take full advantage of the opportunity given to him. If he does, the Cardinals would be wise to keep him in the RB1 role for an extended period.
Benjamin is younger and fresher than Conner, and he has dealt with far fewer injuries. While Benjamin is still inconsistent, the more experience he gets, the more you can expect him to grow as a player.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)