Can any of the Arizona Cardinals running backs step up in wake of Mack’s injury?

The Arizona Cardinals signed running back Marlon Mack to a deal just last week. Fast-forward six days, and he’s already done for the season.
Jul 26, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) and running
Jul 26, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) and running / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Talk about bad luck for both Marlon Mack and the Arizona Cardinals. Last Saturday, Mack burst onto the scene and showed signs he was still every bit the talented back that he was during his two solid seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. 

Now, just six days after the Redbirds signed the talented back, Mack is finished for the season because of a torn Achilles. And just like that, the Cards have two options: They can either sign another back, or they can look to one of their current backs to see if anyone can emerge as the RB2. 

Keaontay Ingram could be the frontrunner here, having seen some ample playing time last year in certain situations. But he’s still making his way back from his own injury, and he would need a stellar August for the fanbase to grow confident that he can be the guy.

Will any current Arizona Cardinals running backs step up?

Corey Clement is a seasoned veteran, but following a pair of serviceable seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 and 2018, Clement has just 265 rushing yards. A far cry from the 580 he had with the Eagles, and he’s been primarily a special teamer throughout his career. 

Ty’Son Williams is in a similar boat as Clement, having enjoyed solid play during his first full season in the league in 2021, but having done little since. Williams also carries no special teams value, so while he could produce in a run-first scheme, he could also be an easy odd man out thanks to his age (27) and lack of overall productivity.  

Finally, there is undrafted rookie Emari Demercado, who, like Ingram, would need to enjoy a strong preseason to warrant serious consideration. As it stands, there is once again no proven asset on the Arizona Cardinals capable of providing a decent one-two punch with RB1 James Conner. 

Therefore, general manager Monti Ossenfort may again look toward free agency to bring more talent. This would be especially true if none of the aforementioned backs have been even remotely impressive in camp. 


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)