Arizona Cardinals: Undrafted rookie has a chance to make his presence known

Just two months ago, undrafted rookie Emari Demercado was simply trying to find a spot in the Arizona Cardinals backfield amidst a crowded running backs room.
Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals
Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

With Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner serving as the latest name to potentially miss some time, Emari Demercado is the next man up, and he looks ready to take charge. This past Sunday, Demercado put up more than admirable numbers as he gained 45 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. 

It was an impressive outing for the rookie, who gained just three yards on four carries before Week 5. Demercado is more than just a sound ball-carrier, however, as he also has six receptions on nine targets for 40 yards, indicating he can also come out of the backfield and make plays. 

And with Adam Schefter of ESPN revealing Conner could wind up on injured reserve, Demercado has quite the audition on his hands. The Cardinals offensive scheme relies on the run, and with Conner out and Keaontay Ingram potentially still dealing with a neck injury, it may be Demercado’s job to lose. 

Arizona Cardinals running back Emari Demercado has a golden opportunity

Injuries are never the reason why you want to start a game and excel in someone’s place, but they will give players with the odds stacked against them like Demercado an opportunity to show he can be more than just a sound depth piece. Demercado has already shown us potential, and now he can parlay that into an RB1 role. 

However, he won’t be alone, as the Cardinals signed Tony Jones to be the potential RB2 if Ingram still can’t go this week. Jones has been in the league since 2020 and has seen action in 22 games with six starts. 

If Ingram can return in the near future, he too could have a chance at securing the RB1 role. While his statistics say otherwise, Ingram has been plagued with awful luck seemingly every time he touches the football, so if he ends up seeing more playing time in light of Conner’s absence, chances are we will see a more-improved Ingram taking the field. 


Source: Report: Arizona Cardinals’ James Conner a candidate for injured reserve by

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)