Arizona Cardinals running back can prove naysayers wrong this Sunday against Cleveland

The Arizona Cardinals have two productive backs in James Conner and Emari Demercado, but they are both banged up.
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Regardless of what happens this Sunday, Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner won’t be available. As he remains on injured reserve, Conner must miss one more game before he’s eligible to return. 

But they may also be without the serviceable revelation that is Emari Demercado, as the undrafted rookie is dealing with a toe injury and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. This means the Cardinals may be forced to roll with Keaontay Ingram and Tony Jones Jr., as Damien Williams is also banged up. 

We know that Ingram has struggled productivity-wise when he’s been given the chance, but if you watch the game closely, the offensive line tends to break down one too many times when he’s in the game. Ingram’s overall PFF Grade of 72.3 is a shade better than Demercado’s, and his 73.7 rushing grade is also in the green, even if Demercado is cruising at 84.4.

Arizona Cardinals second-year running back may get his chance Sunday

However, most fans will pay attention to statistics when judging a player, and since stats are still king, Ingram sorely lacks in the category. He has just 64 yards on 24 carries, zero touchdowns, and just 2.7 yards per attempt. 

Not that there isn’t some upside, and this is why Ingram grades so highly in the rushing category: He also has six forced missed tackles, is averaging 2.42 yards per carry after the first hit, and three of his carries have gone for 10 yards or more. Therefore, if the line can hold for Ingram, or even give him a slim window, he can and will make things happen.

Ingram will have plenty of opportunities this Sunday, even in the event that Demercado is ready to roll, though that doesn’t seem to be the case as of now. If Demercado is ruled out, and we may even know this later today, then Ingram can finally get his chance as the Arizona Cardinals featured back, even if it’s only for a game. 


(Statistics and grades provided by PFF [subscription])