Arizona Cardinals can fill backup running back spot with an old friend

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The Arizona Cardinals could bring back veteran ball-carrier Kenyan Drake to play second fiddle to starter James Conner in 2023 .

Midway through the 2019 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals realized that they needed help at the running back spot. Starter David Johnson was off to an extremely slow start, and was nursing an ankle injury to boot. Cards fans were anxiously waiting to see if management would add a ball-carrier who could make rookie quarterback Kyler Murray's transition to the NFL a whole lot easier.

For the more than reasonable price of a sixth-round draft pick, Arizona managed to pry veteran back Kenyan Drake away from the Miami Dolphins. The trade-deadline deal gave the club an offensive weapon who would go on to enjoy one and a half productive campaigns for the Redbirds. Could a reunion between the organization and Drake take place in 2023?

At the moment, the depth behind starter James Conner at the running back position is not impressive in the least. Corey Clement, a 28-year-old journeyman, would appear to be the number-one backup. Other options for the team include Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams and Emari Demercado.

Kenyan Drake played his best football during the one and a half seasons he spent with the Arizona Cardinals

Back in March of 2021, Drake left the Cardinals to ink a free-agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. In his 12 appearances (two starts) that year, the 6 foot 1, 216 pounder totaled 545 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Drake moved on to the Baltimore Ravens in 2022, and proceeded to rack up 482 yards on the ground and five total scores in the 12 games he dressed for last fall.

Those numbers pale in comparison to what Drake was able to accumulate in a Cards uniform. The Georgia native totaled 814 yards from scrimmage and eight rushing touchdowns during his eight starts for "Big Red" in '19. During the 2020 campaign, Drake was credited with 955 rushing yards and 10 scores in his 15 appearances (13 starts) for the squad.

Obviously, Arizona wouldn't be acquiring that version of Drake in '23. Nevertheless, the former third-round selection of the Dolphins would almost certainly be an upgrade over Clement, Ingram and Demercado. Whether the Cardinals front office has any interest in bringing back Drake for a second stint with the franchise remains to be seen.

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(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)