Week 6 will mark the one-third mark of the Arizona Cardinals 2023 season, so Act I is nearly complete. Act II begins with Week 7 and it will end in Week 12, so the Act I finale is often the time when we see things start to shape up for all 32 NFL teams.
Who are the studs so far this season? The duds? The solid, but unspectacular talents? After five weeks of mainly competitive but overall subpar football, we can identify three players who could help the Cardinals trend further north this season if only they received more playing time.
Since the Cards are and need to be getting younger, we’re rolling with players who have just four years of experience or less. Therefore, you won’t see anyone listed below who may be overachieving but has been in the league for a while, like Dennis Gardeck, for example, who’s played in just 43% of all possible defensive snaps.
3 Arizona Cardinals who need more playing time
1 - Trey McBride, TE
Through five games, Trey McBride has seen just nine targets, yet he has eight catches for 79 yards, good for 9.9 yards per reception. When throwing McBride’s way, quarterback Joshua Dobbs has a 103.2 passer rating, and the second-year tight end is also gaining 4.1 yards on average after each catch.
Despite his success when given the chance, we have seen McBride playing in just 39% of all possible snaps on offense. Meanwhile, the aging Zach Ertz continues to receive priority over McBride, despite connecting on just 64% of his targets.
At this point, Ertz is more likely to go elsewhere following the season given the youthful direction the Arizona Cardinals are heading. As we approach midseason, however, now is the perfect time to get McBride more involved, especially since we know how well he can play judging from his success filling in for Ertz when the latter missed nearly half of 2022 because of a torn ACL.