The Arizona Cardinals have struggled through a downer of a season through their first 11 games, but there are quite a few players they have to be grateful for. A collective group is the team’s rookie class, where many have helped build what is becoming a strong foundation for this team that we should see the fruits of starting next year.
But there are also quite a few seasoned veterans who have helped this group navigate through a difficult season. The top three are listed below, and two of them should be part of this football team for quite some time.
3 players the Arizona Cardinals should be grateful for
1 - James Conner
Without James Conner, the Arizona Cardinals offense more than stagnated, and it became clear he was the heart and soul of the group during Kyler Murray’s absence. Conner still isn’t the ideal back because of injuries, but the Redbirds offense is almost always a vastly improved unit when he’s in the game, so there is a lot to be grateful for about having the 28-year-old on the roster.
This is by no means endorsing Conner to return next season given his age and injury history. But for the 2023 Arizona Cardinals, you can argue that he’s the team’s most valuable player overall.
2 - Trey McBride
Trey McBride is a tight end whose potential has zero limits, given his recent tear that started on October 29th. Now that the second-year tight end continues to produce at a high level, it’s clear that he will not just be a pivotal part of the Arizona Cardinals offense, but a go-to for quarterback Kyler Murray or perhaps even someone else should the Cards venture in another direction.
McBride currently has 41 catches on 56 targets for 461 yards, and 11.2 yards per reception. PFF has the 24-year-old ranked seventh out of 72 qualified candidates with a 78.3 grade, and that number should continue to trend upward if he stays consistent.
3 - Kyzir White
The bad news is that the Cardinals lost Kyzir White for the season in this past week’s loss to the Houston Texans. But let’s look at everything White has done for the Cards, including taking on a leadership role when Budda Baker landed on injured reserve because of a hamstring issue.
White has also shown us that he can be a long-term answer at inside linebacker, meaning he’s one part of this massive rebuilding project who will ultimately stick around when this team snags a winning record at this point in the season. Overall, White has proven to be the Cardinals best free agent signing this past offseason, and he will return stronger than ever.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference, player grades provided by PFF [subscription])