3 - If Emari Demercado or Michael Carter evolve into prominent role players
Suppose the Arizona Cardinals elect to roll with running back James Conner as the top guy once again next season. The rest of the backfield remains a mystery, but following Keaontay Ingram’s release, they are at least closer to solving it than they were earlier in the week.
Emari Demercado may have played his way into a spot, but a recent injury sidelined him until last week. Upon returning, however, he had just three carries for 15 yards as offensive coordinator Drew Petzing opted to throw at least 65 percent of the time.
Still, Demercado has 52 carries and 210 rushing yards, good for 4.0 yards per carry, along with 10 forced missed tackles, 2.71 yards per following first contact, and a rushing touchdown. He ranks 16th out of 59 qualified backs on PFF, so he’s the clear front-runner to become a prominent role player next season.
As for Michael Carter, he has a five-game audition. However, his 52.2 PFF Grade is doing him no favors, as it ranks 58th out of 59 qualified backs. He does have 57 yards on 12 carries, and he’s rushing for 2.5 yards per following initial contact, so the potential is there.
(Statistics and grades provided by PFF [subscription])