Arizona Cardinals could sign Justin Jackson to upgrade the running back depth

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The free-agent running back could be brought in to provide the Arizona Cardinals with a solid change-of-pace option for the 2023 campaign.

From the way things are looking, the Arizona Cardinals offense could look a whole lot different this coming season. New coordinator Drew Petzing is implementing an attack that will revolve primarily around the running game. Unfortunately, the Cards may not currently possess the horses that are required to make such a system successful at the NFL level.

James Conner, Arizona's third-year starter, is certainly not the issue. The 28-year-old's production has been through the roof since he arrived in the desert back in 2021. It's the depth behind the bruising Conner that could use an upgrade.

Justin Jackson, a sixth-year pro from the Detroit Lions, is still seeking employment. For the past five campaigns, the 27-year-old has been one of the league's unheralded performers. If acquired, Jackson could turn out to be the perfect complement for a physical presence like Conner.

Justin Jackson could serve as a fine complementary back for the Arizona Cardinals offense

The 6 foot, 200 pound Jackson turned professional back in 2018 as a seventh-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Chargers. For four consecutive seasons, the former Northwestern University product served as a change-of-pace alternative for Austin Ekeler. In his 43 appearances (seven starts), Jackson rushed 1,040 yards and four touchdowns, and was also credited with 65 receptions for an additional 508 yards while playing for the Chargers.

In August of last year, Jackson agreed to a free-agent contract with the Lions. The Chicago native dressed in 16 contests for his new squad, but his role was diminished. Jackson totaled just 170 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards and two scores during his one campaign with Detroit.

At the moment, veteran Corey Clement is the number-one option behind Conner. Behind Clement, things get even more bleak. Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams, and Emari Demercado fill out the Cardinals' uninspiring running backs room.

There was an unsubstantiated report that Jackson was actually present at Arizona's minicamp practices this past week. If that's true, a contract agreement between the organization and the talented ball-carrier could be in the works. The Cardinals front office could be well aware that a Conner-Jackson combination would help Petzing's run-oriented offensive system take flight in 2023.

(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)