The offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals did an admirable job last weekend during the squad's 20-16 loss to the Washington Commanders. Running back James Conner averaged a respectable 4.4 yards per carry against a stout Commanders defense. Cards quarterback Josh Dobbs did suffer three sacks, but for the most part had ample time to throw during the hard-fought contest.
In spite of the solid performance out of Arizona's blocking unit, there should be more than a little concern in regards to the group's depth. Four out of the five backups were claimed off of the waiver wire less than three weeks ago. In addition, the newly-acquired foursome possesses very little experience at the NFL level.
Trystan Colon, a former undrafted free agent of the Baltimore Ravens, spent most of the offseason with the New York Jets. The 6 foot 3, 320 pound center was cut back on August 29th, and was added to the Cardinals roster one day later. The 25-year-old Colon started a total of four games with the Ravens, and has just 21 appearances on his professional resume.
The revamping of the O-line continued when general manager Monti Ossenfort landed 25-year-old Keith Ismael. The former fifth-round draft choice was with Washington for the first two campaigns of his career, and spent last season on the practice squad of the San Francisco 49ers. The 6 foot 3, 309 pound Ismael has dressed for 18 matchups since he turned pro three years ago, and started five contests at center for the Commanders back in 2021.
The Arizona Cardinals have a crew of inexperienced offensive linemen on their bench
Ilm Manning, an offensive tackle who went undrafted this past April, was also plucked off of the waiver-wire by Ossenfort. The 24-year-old inked a deal with the 49ers shortly after the draft, but failed to make it past cutdown day. Manning, a native of Glendale, played his college ball at the University of Hawaii.
Back on August 30th, the Redbirds dipped into the offensive line pool once again. Carter O'Donnell, a 24-year-old who was born in Canada, entered the league back in 2020 as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts. The 6 foot 6, 315 pound O'Donnell has yet to make an appearance in a regular-season contest.
The only second-string blocker for the Cards who's been around the block a time or two is swing tackle Kelvin Beachum. With 130 NFL starts under his belt, the 34-year-old can certainly be a reliable stand-in for either D.J. Humphries or rookie Paris Johnson Jr.
Any injuries to Arizona's starting five up front could mean trouble for the offense. Experienced offensive lineman like La'el Collins, Dalton Risner and Andrew Norwell are still looking for work. It could be in the best interest of the Cardinals if Ossenfort reaches out to one or more of those free-agent blockers.
(Information provided by Pro Football Reference)